City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

February 5, 2017

February 5th

Filed under: Blacked-Headed Chickadee, Weather — canopus56 @ 6:40 pm

Chickadee Song

2:00 p.m. Another day of temperatures in the high forties has stripped all of the snow from south facing slopes of the canyon, and it has revealed thickets of green grass shots underneath. Just a few days ago (Jan. 29th-30th), the canyon was covered with a thick blanket of snow. While elk and deer have not returned, the road and parking lot are packed with cars and people. I pass about forty people in the first mile. At mile 0.2, a lone 5 millimeter diameter spider crawls up the road. Returning down canyon, a lone Black-capped chickadee hides in a Gambel’s oak thicket and sings loudly and plaintively. It is looking for its flock. This gives me a few minutes of listening to the full repertoire of its songs. There the classic two or three beat “caw” for which this species is well-known. Then it sings a low two beat clear note, and this is followed by a rapid three or four beat high clear note. It spins around to cast its calls in various directions, hoping for a reply. Along with this break in winter, both the sole spider and insect raise my spirits.

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