Article and photos by Charly Mann
The Carolina Chickadee was actually named by James Audubon (1785-1851) the United States most important wildlife artist.
Carolina Chickadee close-up showing his acrobatic skill
The Carolina Chickadee has a black cap, throat, and back, with gray wings and a white underside. They are a very small bird, only 5 inches long.
Carolina Chickadees build their nests in trees. They actually can dig out holes in trees that have a soft area weakened by termites or a fungus, but usually choose an abandoned woodpecker hole or a natural cavity in a tree.
Carolina Chickadee at the break of dawn near the Prairie National Wild Horse Refuge just West of Bartlesville
Some Carolina Chickadees have lived more than 10 years.
Chickadees are great acrobats and can eat upside down. They primarily feed on insects and seeds, and are hunted by hawks and owls.
New-born Chickadee learning to walk across a narrow branch
Chickadees are very territorial birds, and there are three separate small groups of trees in northeast Oklahoma where I find these creatures almost every month of the year.
My little Carolina Chickadee
The most famous expression of the comedian W.C. Fields was "my little chickadee," which was also the title of the movie he starred in with Mae West in 1940. Mae West wrote the script for the movie, so should be credited with creating the expression.