Visit Valparaiso, IN, the Vale of Paradise, to take on the Birds of Paradise sculpture scavenger hunt beginning in 2022. Visit Valparaiso to hunt down the clues needed to find all 10 native birds species throughout downtown.


Black-capped Chickadee

Chickadees regularly visit bird feeders.

Don’t let their small size fool you. Chickadees are some of the most resourceful, curious, and intelligent birds in your backyard. By any account, chickadees are universally considered “cute” thanks to their small size and body proportions. With a black cap, black bib, and white markings in their wing, they are easily identified, and one of the first birds people learn. Their habit of investigating people in their territory, and readiness to explore bird feeders, makes them a favorite bird among many.

Indiana is split between two species of chickadees. The more northern Black-capped Chickadee ranges across northern Indiana, and meets the more southern Carolina Chickadee along a line that roughly stretches from Lafayette to Fort Wayne. Their spring song, “hey sweet-ie” is a recognizable way to identify our local Black-capped Chickadees. Listen to it here.

Chickadees are one of the easiest birds to attract to feeders, for suet, sunflower, and peanuts. They don’t mind using tiny hanging feeders that swing in the wind, and also readily visit window feeders. Planting various trees and shrubs around your property also benefits chickadees.

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