If you have “a-dee!” in your name, you’ve got to be cute

You’ve never heard of ‘Giraffe-a-dee" or "hipp-o-dee", but CHICK-A-DEE? Now we’re TALKING! (er bokking!)

I can almost hear the plinkety plinkety of those eye capsules, and tiniest of feathers brosheing on my cheek. Ahnng.


Sender-Inner Sarah B. says her brother is an expert in not getting pecked too moishe.



  1. Oh, absolutely beautiful! What a lucky finger, to have a chickadeee on it.

  2. furee birdee

  3. angrycupcake says:

    oh my effing goodness. i love chickadees!

  4. A-well-a everybody’s heard about the bird
    B-b-b-bird, bird,bird,b-birds the word
    A-well-a bird,bird bird,the bird is the word.
    (Surfin bird,The Trashmen)

  5. that’s a freaking amazing picture. I wish that was my finger in the picture…

  6. CUTE BIR-DEE! I love it. I never thought a little bird could be as cute as this one is…oh my 🙂

  7. oooo… I get chick-a-dee-dee-dees at my birdfeeders.

  8. luvinmalssomuch says:

    Awww my little chickadee. I wish you would come sick on my finger.

  9. Wheee! Looks like someone is bird banding! (http://www.ornithology.com/banding.html ) I got to do that in vertebrate bio in college, and boy was that a blast. Chick-a-dees are one of my favorite birds. Little balls of fluff in the cold snow around the feeder.

  10. Anh….

    Those little guys are soooo easy to train to eat out of your hand. All you need is a bunch of them, a handful of shelled peanuts or sunflower seeds, and a bit of patience. We had one who would dive bomb us when we came out the back door, waiting for us to dig in our pockets for the handful of seeds we always carried around for him!

  11. What a soft, sweet looking birdie!

    I love the color scheme, too. Very J. Crew. 🙂

  12. As Teddy R. would say,

  13. Ohhhh! I love chickadee dee dees! When we moved from east coast to west, it made me so sad to learn that I’d longer have my beloved chickadees.

    But black phoebes are cute too. It’s some consolation.

  14. Space Cowgirl says:

    Soooooo fluffy!

  15. Lady Chroe says:

    I read somewhere (Ranger Rick Magazine in the 80’s?) that they will hang upside-down on tree branches for no reason other than “It’s fun!”

  16. Awww! I’ve always loved chickadees. My sister and I used to call them chicken-dees. 🙂 SO cute.

  17. I bet if you popped him in your mouf, he’d *poof*, just like those peppermints do! Know what I mean?!

  18. as my dad said to me once when i was casual about spotting a chickadee, “JUST a chickadee??? that’s like saying, ‘JUST a diamond!'”

    sometimes at my parents’ house in maine, we’ll open the window and hold seeds in our hands next to the bird feeder, and these little guys will come and land on us to eat. they’re so light!

  19. chickadees are the best!! amazing, resilient little creatures. and so cute too!!

    chicka dee dee dee

  20. If there are chickadees around and you make squeaky noises with your mouth, sometimes one will fly over and “talk” back to you.

  21. Memories! My family nickname is Dee Dee and when I was a little girl and a chickadee was singing my grandfather had me convinced it was calling for me!

  22. luvinmalssomuch says:

    Oh, Oh, I have a D in my name does that mean I’m cute? 🙂

  23. another adorable little birdie is the carolina wren. their shape cracks me up!! so cute!

  24. little gator says:

    The black-capped Chickadee is the state bird of Masschusetts, where I live. Also the state bird of Maine. They are the cutest birds ever. Even cuter than budgies.

    How do they keep warm in winter? They wear down jackets.

  25. I have been a birdwatcher for a few years and never knew that Chickadees were so tame! I’m soooo going to try hand-feeding them! Such an adorable picture!

  26. I just got the sudden urge to go have lunch at Chick-Fil-A… not sure why.

  27. My long lost cousin! He’s almost as cute as me!

  28. We have the carolina wrens at our house in the summer and they kind of pop pop pop along the ground and are pretty friendly also.

    In February there is the Great Backyard Bird Count!


    The day of the count ended up being a snow day for work, and I got to sit by the picture window and count all day – I had a blast!! I highly recommend joining if you can!

  29. jen, *love* the Carolina wrens. They’re not just cute but also quite chatty. The ones in our neighborhood usually say something like “teacher teacher teacher” or “cheeseburger cheeseburger cheeseburger.”

  30. ashley hayes says:

    thats just adorable

  31. Silent Meow says:

    I live in the West coast, and I have never seen a chickadee in person. Now I am sad. 😦

    That has got to be one of the cutest birdees I have ever seen!

  32. It looks more furry than feathery!

  33. Meg is definitely psychic– my kitties were watching chickadees outside, and I found I nice big chickadee pick to put on my desktop. I am in a chickadee mood!

  34. PS: RE Chickadees– how can you make up cute nicknames for an animal that has already has a cute nickname for a name? 😉

  35. Fluff a Dee!!

  36. can you imagine a hippo-dee sitting on your finger?

  37. Fluff a Dee!!

  38. i love dees.
    I’m changing my name to Buck-A-Dee!!!!

  39. I used to take groups of little girls out hiking in the winter (in Ontario Canada) and we’d stop where they’d put sunflower seeds on their hats and in both mitts. The we’d stand still and the girls would get swarmed by dozens of little ‘dees! Very very cute!!!

  40. Being in the middle of a ‘dee flock must be like being the nucleus of an atom. They’re all BING! ZOOM! ZAP! ZIP! all around you.

  41. OMG. It’s like a lint ball with eyes! What insane fluffitude!

  42. Fluff a Dee!!

  43. Sigh! How I miss my East Coast birds! Chickadees and Cardinals. We don’t have ’em out here in Seattle.

    I want to dip this little guy in powder and dust myself with him!

  44. For those who live on the coast: You won’t find the black-capped chickadees there. They don’t like the heavy humidity of the climate near the sea. You will see chestnut-backed chickadees, though. And if you set out a tray of black oil sunflower seeds and some shelled raw peanuts, they’ll find you! They don’t sit and feed. They swoop in, grab, and fly…they stash food like squirrels do.

  45. the eye to head – beak to eye to head size ratio is fabulous!

  46. Momof2kitties says:

    Carolina Wren ‘tocks! So cute!

  47. tracyFlick says:

    The Chickadee is like: Whah?

  48. Silent Meow says:

    Leslie Evans,
    I live in Bellingham, not terribly far from Seattle.

    I feel your pain. 😦

    I bet if you dipped him in powder, he’d start sneezing really cute tiny little sneezes. lol

    Enjoying the rain we have today? I’ve heard it’s supposed to turn into snow soon.

  49. aww. wee burd.

  50. Silent Meow,
    Sorry you are missing out. The chickadee is named for the sound they make:
    “CHICK uh dee dee”.
    The chickadee’s song gets varied far more than the human ear can hear. They have very sophisticated communication system that has been discovered in recent years. We can’t hear the difference except as to the number of “dees” they add on to the end when calling their flock to mob a predator. To hear animal and bird calls, check the great links at:


  51. Ever since Gramma taught me to handfeed them as a child….they’ve been my fav bird.

  52. I propose a new rule of cuteness… if your feathers are so widdle they look like fur, making you look like a powder puff, it’s cute! And therefore we should call them furthers! 😀

  53. anyone ever hear of a dude-a-dee?

    ; ) ; ) nudge nudge

  54. BabyOpossum says:

    Hey Leslie Evans, we have lots of chickadees here in Seattle! I live in the Ballard area and I get them at my feeder. They are the only ones who can chase off the (even littler) Bushtits. 🙂

  55. BabyOpossum says:

    Oooops…Er, make that: the only ones the chickadees CAN chase from the feeder are the teeny Bushtits!

  56. We have many of these lovely little guys at the seed trays. So sweet and so tiny. One of the bestest birdees goin’.

  57. Does K-a-dee count?

  58. Luvins D – Absolutely “if you have ‘a D’ in your name its cute” Thats the rule so therefore by law you must be cute! 😉

  59. Bettymouse says:

    My mother had a chickadee song:

    “Chick a dee dee dee dee
    In the evergreen tree.
    I’m happy, I’m hungry
    Chick a dee dee dee dee.”

    Does anyone else know that, or did she make it up?

  60. there was a study done in recent years (i think there was an article in scientific american) showing that the # of “-dees” after the “chick-a” is proportional to the threat at hand; not the size of the predator, but the size of the threat it poses. for example, there were more “-dees” called out when a smallish owl was nearby than for a larger owl, who is more likely to be looking for larger prey. they’re pretty sophisticated little buggers.

  61. By now I was expecting a reference to Chickadee-y the chickadee in the “Woodland Critter Christmas” episode of “South Park.”

  62. luvinmalssomuch says:

    lymareck, thanks

    {{{{blushing nose}}}}

    ‘I’m cute, I’m cute’
    {{{trying to fly like rudolph}}}

  63. Maliika,
    I’d get the same thing – when we went cross-coutry skiing in Gatineau park, near Ottawa, we’d stop at Shilly Shally (one of the huts along the trail) and break out the seeds, and the ckickadees would perch all over you to feed. Very cute.

  64. anner,
    I’ll remember to chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee when ex comes around.

  65. It’s our state bird, and what a cutie he is!! So floofy and soft looking. Love the plumage on top of his head.

  66. Lavralee Snooth says:

    I’ve been fortunate enough
    to have one of these
    fluffballs on my finger.

    They weigh…absolutely

  67. Silent Meow says:

    Is a dude-a-dee a male chickadee, especially one with bulging little muscles from working out at a birdie gym? 😉

  68. Silent Meow says:

    Patty P,
    Thank you for the info about chickadees.

    Since I have never had an opportunity to travel to the East Coast, I need such enlightenment.

    I love birds, btw, especially cute little puff ball ones.

  69. There are chickadees on the west coast: chestnut-backed chickadees

    They’s cute too!

  70. SM,
    you got it!

  71. anyone else notice the lacy under-eye feathers? (visible espeshe in the big version of the pic…). so very, erm, 1980s. and i mean that in the best way possible (my teenage years were lived in the eighties). think madonna and cyndi(dee-dee-dee) lauper.

  72. luvinmalssomuch says:

    Awwww they is sooooo cute.

  73. also, LOL at “dude-a-dee.” props to Kiragirl and Silent Meow.

  74. chickadees in ballard here, too! Yay babyopossum! When I was banding birds, the chickadees were FEROCIOUS. They would rip and tear at your fingernails, and your cuticles would be MESS afterwards. You could just about hear them swearing – “I KEEEL YOU! I KEEL YOU!”. Pecking, scratching, cussing all the time. Compare that to big old jays, flickers, and crows – who put up a big front vocally beforehand, but when in the hand, simply hunker down and whimper “mommy!”. Beaks that could break your nose, and they droop.

    My favorite moment with a chickadee was in the middle of a big snowstorm. After weighing and measuring the bird, I went to release it (and you do NOT just toss a befuddled bird up into the air like in movies!), by simply holding my hand out and letting it choose the time and method of leaving. It decided my warm hand was a better perch than the snowy branches, and it refused to leave! It preened, selected a different finger, and hunkered down to go to sleep. Dude. No. I cannot stand out here all day with my hand outstretched. 🙂 I’d poke it with my other hand/finger to try to encourage it on its way, and it would PEEP! at me and then hunker down even more. DUDE! It finally flew away when my partner came up and stared at it. 🙂

    There’s also been a studying showing that the number of “dee”s in a call has some correlation with where the chickadee lives. Different geographic areas have set ranges of # of “dee”s.

  75. Detroit Snapdragon says:

    If anyone is in the Detroit area and wants to feed chickadees, the ones around the Kensington Metropark nature center are very tame! Especially in the winter. You may find yourself being followed by a hungry throng of birdies. They know that humans have seeds. Sometimes a titmouse or a cardinal will come to your hand!

  76. luvinmalssomuch says:

    Thanks Foo I loved your story.

  77. Rubiatonta says:

    When I lived in New England, I had dee-dees to keep me company in the garden. In the spring and summer, they do a two-note whistle, as well as the regular “dee-dee” call. If you whistle at them, they whistle back. But it’s a contest you’ll never win. They always have to have the last word!

  78. Firefinch, “Woodland Critter Christmas” was one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen.

    Of course, that’s not to say I didn’t love it! It’s quite possibly my favorite South Park ever.

  79. Another west coast species is the mountain chickadee. My mom has seen them in her yard in L.A. (once during a drenching rainstorm, one poor little ‘dee was pecking on her kitchen window, probably to ask if he could come in and get dry!).

    Detroit Snapdragon, I’ve been mugged by the birds at Kensington — chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, even downy woodpeckers will expect to be paid “toll” to use the nature center paths.

  80. little gator says:

    The two note whistle sounds like

    FEEbee and is their mating call.

  81. Well it’s true.

    I have a “D” in my name and I’m pretty flipping cute. 😀

  82. Chickadees are faithful, cheerful winter visitors to our feeders here in Alaska. I understand their brain capacity actually increases in the winter to remember all of those seed stashes. See: http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF10/1003.html

    …wishing my brain capacity would increase….

  83. Silent Meow says:

    I have one D, and that’s in my middle name. Does that count? lol

  84. mr. snorgler says:

    I live not far from Seattle in Woodinville. Chickadees galore. The best thing is that you can actually see them teaching their offspring to eat from feeders. Tewtelly cool.

    I don’t understand the posters from Bellingham or Seattle who don’t think they’re out here. They are.

    No northern cardinals though 😦

  85. I’m in the Seattle area, too… and mostly see crows where I work…although Bellevue Home Depot has some sweet burdees flutting around…that will share a hotdog bun with ya, or a kuhkeee… not sure what they are, but they are teenie tiny….

  86. My Kensington memories are of the man-eating carp in the lake there. 🙂 When I was a wee little lassie, I swore I saw those things taking out ducks. Grab their feet, pull ’em under, and then you get the bread after they’ve taken off.

  87. We have ducks … at Starbucks, sometimes. They aren’t bout to let ya snorgle ’em, tho…

  88. I stand happily corrected! Gotta clean out my bird-feeder and get back in the birdie business.

    Now, tell me there are also some beautiful red Northern Cardinals here! Nothing prettier than a red cardinal in a tree during new snow.

  89. Pheas-
    I thought we were the only ones that noticed the “cheeseburger birds”!

  90. Mary (the first) says:

    I’m in Portland OR neighborhood and have chickadees all over. I love them!!

  91. Silent Meow – SURE! Anything goes in Cuteoverload Land!

  92. I got all excited when people were mentioning the chesnut-backed chickadee. Then I got all sad when I found they don’t come south of central CA–no ‘dees for me here in San Diego…

  93. Since their tree of choice is evergreens We do not have them where I live. But I have other birds to enjoy. I do still remember their call from when I lived in Michigan and can still hear it in my head after 40 years. I also miss the cardinals.
    But I can has Western tanagers. They actually should be migrating thru here soon.

  94. A few winters back, I noticed a chickadee perched on an icy branch right outside the window. “Hi li’l guy.” Then later, the chickadee is still there. Pushed up the window and it didn’t fly away but looked panicky. I leaned out the window, pulled the branch close and chickadee’s wee feets were frozen to it. I cupped one hand over the feet for a minute and melted the ice enough for it to go free.
    Whistling at chickadees is pretty fun.
    And now I’m channeling W.C. Fields and Mae West…

  95. Silent Meow says:

    I got it now!

    A dude-a-dee is a male chickadee with well defined peck-toral muscles.

  96. Silent Meow says:


    I am very glad that you had such a warm heart and helped that poor little birdie out in time. That story just made my day.

  97. Silent Meow says:

    mr snorgler,

    All I seem to see are mostly sparrows and crows.

    I am going to have another look, a closer look, this time.

    I’m the person in Bellingham, btw.

  98. Silent Meow says:


    When you said you had ducks at Starbucks, I first thought you wrote that you had ducks IN Starbucks.

    I then thought, “I thought ducks weren’t allowed inside Starbucks?”

    I had a vision in my head of ducks in a row ordering lattes.

  99. Chika-Dee-Dee-Dee! I love these little guys, they’re so TINY.

  100. LunaKitteh says:

    ROFL!! I love that visual, SilentMeow!! “I’d like a tall, skinny latte, with extra slugs, puhleez! Quack yu verry mutch!”

    Actually there is a Starbucks close to my work where there are always duckies waddlin’ about out back, probably lookin’ for leftover treats. Like anyone would have guessed that from what I posted earlier. Sometimes I’m not very clear on details, imagining everyone can read my mind. Just ask my hubby!

  101. As an assistant manager at a Starbucks, I would probably have to ask a duck if it wanted to pay cash for the lattes, or if it wanted me to put it on their bill.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    And I really do work at Starbucks.

  102. SQUEEEEEEAL!!! I LOVE chickadees and other leetle boids!

    I have a “gee” in my name. (That’s “g” as in “goat”.) Not quite a “Dee” but I like it!

  103. Oh, and this was CO’s very first ‘dee:


  104. Woah… I am a new fan of chickadees. Pretty coloring and contrast of the feathers. Nice feather-separation details too. The tiny (barely light-tipped) beak looks so delicate with the comparison of the finger.

  105. Cath – the lacy under-eye feathers–yes! Lacy pattern, like Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ white dress and lacy gloves, right? Or did Cindy Lauper start the lacy glove thing? Bah, I wouldn’t remember. Anyway, I get you meant ‘Victorian lace’. But, I was also thinking more of….

    Delicately fanning out like extra-long, faux under-eye eyelashes, in nu-wave white contrast to black, with bold eyeliner… you’d use a little eyelash comb (or mascara brush – ??) to maintain its flooffy elegance.

  106. ah, one more comment.

    “It preened, selected a different finger, and hunkered down to go to sleep.” – Foo
    Aaa, that is a cute story…

  107. acelightning says:

    They don’t go south for the winter – although they look fragile, they are tough little birds who seem to enjoy the snow. (As long as you put out sunflower seeds for them.)

  108. pyrit – love the WC and Mae ref. 2 of my favorite cultural icons. “I’d rather be in Philadelphia”, indeed!

  109. Wow Subhangi! Thanks for that blast from the past plump-a-dee!

  110. Silent Meow says:


    Don’t you know that ducks always order slug frappuccinos at Starbucks using Starbucks gift cards?

    It’s easier for them that way, since they don’t have pockets to carry change, and they always have to order on the fly.

  111. Silent Meow says:

    The ducks always have to pay extra for their slug frappuccinos because it’s not on the menu board, and most employees don’t exactly want to put slugs in a blender and then have to clean that up before the human customers.

    And, I don’t work at Starbucks. I’m just making all this up, thanks to my morning coffee.

  112. Silent Meow — I think I’m detecting a flaw in your pocket logic…

  113. Silent Meow says:

    What??? Ducks really do have pockets???

    I thought they had to carry coin purses instead.

  114. Silent Meow says:

    And, when chickadees order lattes at Starbucks, it’s always grandes.

    They require a lot of caffeine to fly around everywhere all the time.

    I know I sure would! lol

  115. Linda Burdecki says:

    I feed the critters in my very rural yard.I stopped breathing when I saw this photo.Now this is what I call a camera lens and a friend to all.Thank you so much for sharing this shot.

  116. Silent Meow says:

    StarBUCKS ought to change its name to StarDUCKS.

    I’d order a latte there with soup and quackers.

    I’ll duck and cover.

    Oh, no! The old “Duck And Cover” song just started to play in my head. “There once was a turtle whose name was Bert…”

  117. Silent Meow says:

    Linda Burdecki,
    I’d give just about anything to have a digital camera right about now, and catch photos like this chickadee one. Talk about a case of catching a shot at just the right moment! I’m actually a bit jealous of such photography.

  118. Maybe Chickadees go to Har-dees for lunch, after their morning Slugalishus Sunflower Seed Latte.

  119. Dear Santa,
    Please bring a digital camera to Silent Meow for Christmas,
    thank you,

  120. LunaKitteh says:

    …and God bless us every one..

    Some of these stories are enough to make me tear up… so cute.

    I’m getting good at duck ‘n cover … every time mah boss walks bai… drives me…quackers..

  121. you need the “boss button” on your computer

  122. LunaKitteh says:

    I needz sumpin’, that’s fur shure… how bout a vekkeshun sumwerz warrrrrmmmm…

  123. Silent Meow says:


    I just knew that nuclear-war-preparation educational film Duck And Cover would be of some benefit in real life!

    Remember what Bert the Turtle says: As soon as you hear a big boom, see a bright flash, or see or hear your boss go by…


    Cover yourself with whatever material you have available: Newspapers, a notebook, your jacket, your report that was due last week, or whatever else is immediately available, to protect yourself from the potentially lethal hazzards of an encounter with your boss.

    It makes me shrudder just to think of it! Horror of horrors!

  124. LunaKitteh says:

    Oh, sush wizdem… I, too, shuhdderz… en holdz mai breff, maibe she wown see mai… :::Pullen da DHL suplize rown mai dezk..

  125. leslie evans,
    there aren’t cardinals in the northwest sadly. they are quite pretty. BUT there are steller jays which look like cardinals except they’re blue with a black head.


  126. lol south park rocks…

    There was rabbity the rabbit
    Beary the bear
    squirrly the squirrel
    deery the deer
    skunky the skunk
    foxy the fox
    mousey the mouse
    porquipiney the porquipine
    woodpeckery the wood pecker
    and chickadee-y the chickadee

    did i leave any out or is that all?
    dude south park powns lol

  127. i wish the chickadee was the state bird of michigan…i love them so much and we’re stuck with the robin!

  128. A Hungarian titmouse:
    picture taken by a webcam in the city of Szentgotthard

  129. WHOA!!!
    Robbie73, that shot is AWESOME.

  130. CO is always reading my mind. Just this past weekend my mother was telling my boyfriend’s mother about the weeks I spent as an 8th grader sitting in my window seat with one hand, full of birdseed, out the window (a book in the other).

    It’s true — chickadees are fearless little birdies who don’t mind landing on humans! Their little toes are so prickly!

  131. Gray Lensman says:

    We get blackcapped and mountain chickadees at our feeders near Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park, at 8500+ feet altitude. They are not very efficient feeders: they take one tiny seed, fly to a distant tree to peck the seed apart before flying back for another. The other birds (pine siskins, etc.) just stand in the tray and slam ’em back. The chickadees will also wait for another chickadee to get a seed before picking out their own even in a large tray.

  132. What loverly windblown feathered fur! Who knew chickadees had fur?

    I actually thought that the end of the beak at first glance looked like the glint of a moist noisicle. I think this counts, I really do.

  133. Oh, I hope the wee sweetie is grown?

    Is Mum okay with the handling of the wee one?

    Hope so!