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Boreal Chickadee | by kdee64
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Boreal Chickadee

Hooray, after a 6 week absence, though low in the sky, we have been getting the sun lately and spring is on the way! Don't tell that to this Boreal Chickadee though, as it was minus 33 C this morning. Normally, I see the Black-capped ones at the feeder, and this is the first Boreal, so I am thrilled. The two species look similar but the Boreal has a brown head and brown feathers on its side, key features that show up well in the image. This one had his feathers erected to provide extra insulation from the bitter cold and cover his legs, giving him a somewhat rounded appearance. Called "piloerection", this is one of the many coping strategies that northern birds employ to survive the harsh winter.

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Taken on January 13, 2011