My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

An Interesting Office Visitor

Have you ever been inside Wal-mart or Home Depot with birds flying around the store?? I feel sorry for those birdies and I find myself wondering who’s job it is to get them back outside safely?? Well, you know who gets the call whenever something is flying around the offices in the Administration Building!! I have rescued Chimney Swifts who accidentally fell down the chimney because someone forgot to close the damper. I am the one who saves the Little Brown Bats who accidentally finds there way inside whenever someone leaves a doors or window open due to hot temperatures during the summer. I have even rescued things like a Luna Moths (stuck between the storm windows), Hummingbirds, Meadow Jumping Mouse, Flying Squirrels, Ring-necked Snakes, and a ton of Chipmunks!! But I am rarely called upon during the winter months for unexpected critters that find there way into the offices (well, unless they are mice)!

Black-capped Chickadee
Today’s Black-capped Chickadee.

Here is the skinny on today’s office visitor . . . . some staff “finally” got together and took down all of the Christmas decorations! The building seemed extra warm and you guessed it . . . . someone propped open one of the doors without any concern that something would get inside! Not sure why but this Black-capped Chickadee somehow found itself exploring the 2nd floor offices. I started closing doors behind it and finally trapped her inside one of the smaller rooms! In a matter of minutes we had her cornered and captured with a butterfly net. I had hoped to band her but not this little birdie . . . . she was already sporting some bling bling from a previous encounter that I had!

Black-capped Chickadee
Mamma Chickadee

As soon as we read off her band number, I knew that it had to be one of my banded birds! I just assumed it had been one of the birds that I banded in my window feeder within the past few years but according to my database it was from somewhere else! There, I finally found it in my records and this Black-capped Chickadee was first banded at 11:30am on 6 June 2007 at my SWAT banding station here in Allegany State Park! She was recorded as an adult female with a brood patch and was probably nesting somewhere near the banding station! She traveled ~3360 feet as the crow flies (or chickadee in this case) from its breeding grounds in the summer to the Administration Building during the winter months. What is so ironic is that I captured another female Black-capped Chickadee on the 8th of June 2007 (and on June of 2006 in the same location) who had been first banded at the Administration Building during January of 2005. Are you ready for this?? The 8th of June Chickadee’s wintering vs breeding location was also ~3340 feet away from both banding captures!!

It makes me wonder if we are starting to find some interesting trends with these two Chickadee that I have recaptured?


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29 responses

  1. Marg

    That is interesting!! It’s always nice to catch up with a recap

    btw I know someone who helps trap those birdies in stores….and you do too 😉

    11 January 2008 at 10:47 pm

  2. @ Marg – forgot you guys did that! It’s only a matter of time till someone starts asking me to do it! Thanks!

    11 January 2008 at 11:02 pm

  3. We get calls about Cooper’s hawks in stores all the time. How do we get them? Tempt them with a house sparrow in a cage. Works every time.
    A migration of a whole 3360 feet? Wow.

    : )

    11 January 2008 at 11:49 pm

  4. Bad boys, bad boys,watcha gonna do? Watcha gonna do when Monarch finds you! Bad boys.

    12 January 2008 at 12:15 am

  5. That is interesting! Such a tiny bird… their behaviour pattern is simple: they’re following you!

    12 January 2008 at 12:34 am

  6. How nice to meet an old friend! Gorgeous pictures!

    12 January 2008 at 1:06 am

  7. Obviously, the chickadees know a good thing when they’ve got it — and don’t want to leave.

    12 January 2008 at 4:20 am

  8. Lisa at Greenbow

    I have often wondered about our chickadees. Since they look the same it is impossible to tell who is here. This winter we have at least 4 coming to the feeders. During summer there appears to be only 2. I wonder if they disperse for breeding. Or do others take their place?? I think this is why I enjoy birding so much the birds are so mysterious. I love those up close photots.

    Sometimes I think the birds enjoy getting into the stores. They get to eat at the vegetable bin (in Walmart). I have been startled to see a House Sparrow dart out of the veggie bin when I was reaching for something. I didn’t expect to see them there. Ha… THen they fly over to where the bird seed is kept and help themselves.

    I have seen them work the magic eye at Lowes. They are smart little fellows.

    12 January 2008 at 6:20 am

  9. I’ve not only seen them in hardware and big box stores, but in our local mall. And yes, I do wonder about their health and safety.

    So far, in this somewhat urban location, I’ve only had one bird fly into my office, and he immediately found a way to get above the tiles in my suspended ceiling. Happy ending, but I was cleaning up bird poop for a few days.

    I’m not surprised that you’ve had more of these encounters.

    12 January 2008 at 7:54 am

  10. I often wondered if the stores got someone to rescue the birds. Last week at Lowes a bird was taking a drink from a puddle on the floor. Interesting it had to lay its head to the side and lick up the water.

    Interesting that the birds we see all the time do migrate just a bit.

    12 January 2008 at 8:51 am

  11. I think the chickadees just missed you, and wanted to say hello. 🙂

    Seriously, you are such a hero. Superbirdman!

    I see sparrows inside the big mall in Boston, and I honestly don’t think anyone tries to do anything to help them.

    12 January 2008 at 8:54 am

  12. @ Susan – having a Cooper’s Hawk flying around the store would get me coming to Wal-mart on a regular basis! I probably would use a BC Trap with these guys!
    @ Chicago – LOL! I let them go! Thanks
    @ Pinar – thanks and trust me, I am not there fave person!
    @ Liz – thanks and it was nice seeing them!
    @ Marvin – I just think they are following the seeds!
    @ Lisa – I wouldn’t be surprised if some of your locals are not that far away!! They do have a great life in some of those stores!
    @ Wren – I have seen them in the malls also! They love the plants and waterfalls! I would have to think they are a little harder to capture! But not impossible! The upper tiles wouldn’t be a place I would want to live!
    @ Toni – aww, probably salt water to boot!
    @ Ladybug – I doubt that! But would like to hope that! I would have to bet that someone at times give it a try in saving them!

    12 January 2008 at 9:56 am

  13. Very interesting! We had a Coop get trapped in Home Depot nearby recently. It made the local papers.

    12 January 2008 at 11:32 am

  14. I just love your blog! Each time I visit, I learn something new. Today, I went to all the back links you included and learned even more! Makes me wish I lived near a state park that I could visit on a regular basis. How much more I could learn and appreciate about the natural world around us!

    12 January 2008 at 1:31 pm

  15. Hey, this is cool, Tom!
    When I picked up my Mom from the airport last week there were at least three birdies stuck inside. I felt so bad. I didn’t think it was wise to cause a ruckus over the birdies at an airport, sigh. I wished one of them pooped on the security guard though. Then they might take notice. Or not.

    12 January 2008 at 3:03 pm

  16. Very interesting! That’s a brutal migration they have, eh? *LOL*

    12 January 2008 at 4:21 pm

  17. lvn600

    I often see House Sparrows flying around in Walmart but don’t feel sorry for them because they seem quite comfortable with a good supply of bird seed.-Once, I saw a Gray Catbird in a local grocery store.-It was eating some of the fruit in the produce area.-It clearly seemed to be uncomfortable as it wanted to fly out the exit but couldn’t seem how to figure it out.-A week later, I saw it dead outside of the store in the same plaza-I had to wonder what happened to it.-I wish that I did something to save the bird.I didn’t expect that it would have died.

    12 January 2008 at 9:54 pm

  18. it is really sweet that you save the birds and critters who need help. your story made me smile.
    have a great week-end
    ~nita~

    12 January 2008 at 10:49 pm

  19. naturespalette

    What a beautiful face! I love this blog.

    13 January 2008 at 1:28 am

  20. Nice to see one up so close. The feather detail is amazing. Great story.

    13 January 2008 at 5:21 am

  21. Beautiful chickadee photo!

    It’s always good to know who to call when the birds come flying indoors. I used to work in a very big, cavernous building at the edge of a large meadow and redwood forest at UC Santa Cruz. We had all kinds of wildlife find their way in. One hummingbird spent a very long night there. I found it in the morning nearly lifeless by the door. I covered it with a box and called the campus team to rescue. They saved that little guy.

    13 January 2008 at 10:16 am

  22. @ Patrick – It amazes me to hear about all the Coops and Sharpies showing up in these places! Hmm, must be following the little birdies!
    @ Rondi – Thanks and thanks for such kind words! You don’t need a state park, many of these things can be found in your local park, city park, county park or even in your back yard!
    @ Pam – thanks and I wonder what air plane company they work for??
    @ Lana – Thanks and tough one for sure! Guess they know where the seeds are!
    @ lvn – I wouldn’t feel as sorry for the House Sparrow as I would for that poor catbird! Ugg! They need bugs for sure!
    @ Nita – Thanks and hope you have a good weekend also!
    @ naturepalette – thanks!
    @ TR – close up is the only way to view them!
    @ Robin – thanks and sounds like it wasn’t doing well but for sure you saved it!

    13 January 2008 at 3:20 pm

  23. I enjoyed this story a lot. I’m so touched by your love of wildlife. The banding part is fascinating.

    13 January 2008 at 4:20 pm

  24. We regularly get birds in our High School Gym, and the janitors do a super job of getting them out, they have also told me of finding nests in some of the rafters before 🙂

    13 January 2008 at 5:49 pm

  25. Bird bling – I love it 🙂 Great closeups of the chick!

    14 January 2008 at 1:33 am

  26. Interesting – I think they’re just stopping by to say hello.

    14 January 2008 at 8:27 am

  27. @ Caroline – thanks and is the only way that I know how to live in enjoying these guys!
    @ Bernie – wow, that is interesting! Wonder what they use for nest, note pad paper?
    @ Adam – Thanks and isn’t that what the kids call big jewelery?
    @ Marty – doing some holiday traveling!

    14 January 2008 at 12:14 pm

  28. Cool story Mon@rch. I’m glad you were able to rescue the little dee-dee.

    14 January 2008 at 7:20 pm

  29. Cool stuff. Love those chickadees and stories about them!

    20 January 2008 at 8:34 pm

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