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birdhouseWhen spring arrives (it officially arrived on Wednesday, March 20th) nature seems to take a deep breath, preparing for the spectacular changes that are coming. Bird chatter is one of those changes, and we will soon see the return of swallows, swifts and nighthawks to hummingbirds, robins and warblers. The chatter escalates because it is time for that all-important mating season.

Consider this year helping one of our little over-wintering chatter-boxes, the chickadee. You can make a chickadee nesting box with your child. Visit to get your instructions. Once built it is important to place the box in an area that receives sunlight for about half the day. Chickadees do well in habitats such as woodlots, fields, backyards with mature trees, and the edges of forests or meadows. Your box needs to be at least 2 metres (5-6 feet) above the ground. Install the box before breeding season begins. It may take a while for chickadees to discover your box, so be patient.

(From The Big Book of Nature Activities by Drew Monkman and Jacob Rodenburg)

The Chickadee-dee


Little darling of the snow,
Careless how the winds may blow,
Happy as a bird can be,
Singing, oh so cheerily,
Chickadee-dee! Chickadee-dee!
When the skies are cold and gray,
When he trills his happiest lay,
Through the clouds he seems to see
Hidden things to you and me.
Chickadee-dee! Chickadee-dee!
Very likely little birds
Have their thoughts too deep for words,
But we know, and all agree,
That the world would dreary be,
Without birds, dear Chickadee!