As the fall set in, we heard of Black-capped Chickadees in Maryland and got our birding eyes on to watch for them here in Loudoun. On December 15, Joe Coleman made our first report!
His report is below. Keep an eye on your feeders and please do let us know if you see any. While they look similar to the Carolina Chickadees that we have here year-round, Joe provides a few clues to look for in his note below:
Had my first BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE of the season at my feeders this morning. This is only the 2nd time I’ve seen them in Loudoun County in the sixteen years I’ve lived here. It had all the right diagnostics: black bid bleeding into the chest, extensive bright white all the way to the back of the nape, and bright white edging on the wings. Interestingly enough it was also the most skittish chickadee of several visiting my feeders.
While I saw them at Blandy in the Shenandoah Valley a couple of weeks ago and several have been reported in MD & in the Shenandoah Valley this year, every chickadee I’ve seen in Loudon County this year was a Carolina and I only live a little more than a mile from the Blue Ridge and four or five miles from Clarke Co, VA & Jefferson Co, WV.
Also, saw my first Northern Harrier in about a month. It was a beautiful first-year bird and was hunting one of my neighbor’s fields.
Joe Coleman, near Bluemont, Loudoun Co