Waking early to another cold morning here in Michigan, Katie and I wandered out to the backyard to fill the feeders. I knew the birds would be hungry. Katie waited up on the deck as I went down to get seed from our metal storage bin.
As I was pouring seed into a flat feeder several yards away a little chickadee dropped down to the rim of the bin, checking to see if there was anything good within reach. I waited quietly for him to decide. Noticing me, he flew up into a nearby tree to wait.
I slowly walked over and he hopped down a few branches. Watching.
I reached into the bin, grabbed a handful of oilers and offered them, hand outstretched, to him. He dropped down a couple more branches. I stood still.
Closer, closer, he skipped from branch to branch, clearly fixated on the oilers in my hand. Inches away he considered how to get breakfast, but wasn’t quite brave enough to make that last hop.
I moved my hand closer to him. We were at eye level and he looked at me. I looked at him and moved my hand a fraction of an inch closer.
He stretched out and delicately chose an oiler from my palm, then hopped up to a higher branch to enjoy it.
I had a rendezvous with a chickadee this morning, and I liked it.