Doing some fun research on my own question about Chickadees high success rate, I learned a lot about our beloved little friends:
1--They hide seeds and other foods for future use and can remember THOUSANDS of hiding places. [I know several other species do this too] 2--THEY ARE ADAPTABLE--Every Autumn they allow brain neurons containing old information to die replacing them with new neurons so they can adapt to changes in their social flocks and environment! [How on Earth anyone learned this I don't even want to know!]
3--Their calls are complex relaying a lot of information... The more DEE notes in the alarm call the higher the threat.
4--MOST BIRDS WHICH ASSOCIATE WITH CHICKADEE FLOCKS RESPOND TO CHICKADEE ALARM CALLS, EVEN WHEN THEIR OWN SPECIES DOESN'T HAVE A SIMILAR ALARM CALL. [Caps are mine. So, even other birds love them !]
5 Almost forgot to add this, they lay 6-8 eggs. That's quite a lot for a little bird I think. They co-parent their brood until the start to flock up for the Winter.
There are a few more interesting facts about them but these seemed the most pertinent to my query as to why they are so successful, especially in my area which is UP Michigan mixed mature forest. They are cavity nesters and roosters and feed frequently off the insects and caterpillars from the underside of leaves as well as eating in-flight insects, seeds and suet. [we sure have enough insects around here to keep them fat and sassy!] Main source for this info is from the Cornell site: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-capped_Chickadee/
On Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 9:14:21 AM UTC-5, Marykaye Weinmann wrote: > > > Why are Black-capped Chickadees so successful in Michigan? Do we just see > them more or are there really so many more of them than say, Nuthatches > which are also cute little birds? Are they as plentiful in other states? > > -- > "Everyone you meet knows something you don''t" --Bill Gatest >