THE CHICKADEE’S SONG. There are only two bird songs that I can identify: the cardinal’s and the chickadee’s. And I have learned from Christopher Solomon’s article that the chickadee’s song is a lot more complicated than simply “chick-a dee-dee”. Dr. Erick Greene has found that the number of times the “dee” syllable is repeated in the song is an indication of the degree of danger that the chickadee perceives. The greater the number of “dee” syllables, the greater the danger. However, the bigger the predator, the less the risk for a chickadee because the chickadee can successfully avoid large predators, who can’t maneuver as well. Solomon quotes Greene: “So a large goshawk might only merit a chick-a-dee-dee from a nimble chickadee, while that little pygmy owl will elicit a chick-a-dee followed by five or even 10 or 12 additional dee syllables.”
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