The chestnut-backed Chickadee, Poecile rufescens, is a year around resident of The Sea Ranch and is clearly one of the best dressed residents in our community. Chickadee is also bold and inquisitive, cheerful and perky, quick and determined. As Emerson pointed out it is hard not to be cheered up by Chickadee's presence. The Greeks and Romans were not lucky enough to know Chickadee (he doesn't travel abroad), but the American Indian did and held him in high regard as a purveyor of truth.
Chickadee tends to favor the edge of the forest as a place to live so you won't find too many right along the bluff top trail or deep in among the redwoods. He appears to like our weather here in The Sea Ranch, but on those occassions when the nights get too cold he can actually lower the temperature of his body in order to conserve energy. A trick that we find pretty impressive and useful. The other peeps like Chickadee and frequently hang around with him because he gives a shout whenever he finds a good source of food. Chickadee chatters a lot and is capable of expressing himself very well if you talk chicadee. Those that have studied his vocalizations say that the basic "chickadee" call can be subtly altered to mean a wide variety of things related to his interests at the moment - from food to danger.