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How to Hand Feed Chickadees

| Updated September 26, 2017

How to Hand Feed Chickadees. Hand feeding Chickadees is a rewarding experience. Chickadees come in many varieties, can be found in northern states and Canada, and rarely migrate. Chickadees are curious and friendly birds and can be easily trained to feed from your hand. Getting to know your Chickadees and their behavior can help.

Find out what time of day Chickadees are most active in your backyard. They seem to like the cool of the evening, but this can vary.

Place a small amount of black sunflower seeds in the palm of your hand.

Raise your hand above your head and hold your hand flat.

Make a "swish, swish, swish" noise with your mouth. This mimics the sound the birds make.

Stand as still as you can near where the birds normally feed.

Watch as the Chickadees come near to where you are and look you over. They will do this quite a bit, flying away each time. This is how they let the others know there is something new to see or food to be had.

Repeat this process everyday once or twice a day for up to a week. Your Chickadees will soon get used to you and the bravest will start landing on your hand, taking a seed and flying away to eat.


  • Try beginning this process in the fall when natural food sources begin to diminish. Chickadees are more likely to come to the hand in the cold months for an easy meal. After a few days of waiting, remove the feeders where Chickadees normally feed and see if they will choose your hand instead.