This photo is a favorite of mine. We were cruising through Goose Island County Park when we stopped at a feeder to capture photos of birds and deer feeding on corn and bird seed left by Sunday sightseers. We watched with interest as a Grandpa began to encourage his two grandsons to feed the wild chickadees from seeds in their hand.
In 30 years of birding, it had never occured to me to try that!
“Could I try that, too?” I asked him? So he gave me some seeds and I watched as the chickadees and nuthatches hesitantly and delicately landed on my fingers to eat the seeds! What a wonderful sensation to feel those feather light little feet on my fingers!!
Then another car stopped and five kids jumped out.
“Could we feed the birds, too?” And they, too, lined up along the road, arms outstretched. The nuthatches and chickadees ate from their hands also!
What a wonderful, unexpected, experience that generous man provided to all nine of us passers-by! It’s something I hope to experience with my grand-kids as well.
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My mom had a friend who patiently taught chickadees in her back yard to eat out of her hand. (Or maybe they taught her!) I think she sat very still on a lounge chair until they were used to her. Then she put a garden glove at the foot end of the chair and put some seed on it. She moved the glove closer to her and eventually put it on her hand. Once they’d eat out of her gloved hand, she took off the glove and they ate out of her hand. Sounds like the Goose Island guy had already done this work!