Alaska Department of Fish and Game is embarking on an ambitious study of gray-headed chickadee nesting boxes and their possibilities at the confluence of the Siksikpuk and Chandler Rivers on the North Slope.
The department has filed with the Department of Natural Resources for a permit to install up to 20 bird boxes for a pilot project “to determine if gray-headed chickadees will nest in boxes.”
The boxes will be installed in late April. Those wishing to comment on the proposed activity should do so no later than April 18 by 5 pm.
Written comments must be received by the Department of Natural Resources Division of Mining, Land and Water at 3700 Airport Way, Fairbanks, AK 99709 by that date.
The department notice advises that “After review and adjudication, we may issue a permit with stipulations for the activity. The activity may be modified during the review and adjudication process.”
The gray-headed chickadee is also known as the Siberian Tit. It is one of four chickadees that has been identified in the state and makes it looks a lot like the common boreal chickadee, but with larger white patches on its cheeks.
It also makes a different call, described as a “dee–deer” or “pee–vee.” For many years, chickadees have nested in forests and stream-side habitats, but for purposes unknown the Department of Fish and Game is interested in housing them in boxes.
Among endangered birds, the gray-headed chickadee is leasted in the “of least concern” category, according to Wikipedia.
Attempts to locate the exact study details or rationale were unsuccessful as the state’s web page relating to that item was not loading properly on Sunday and other Fish and Game pages pertaining to the elusive bird were also unavailable.
However a cached version of the study details and permit identifiers are below.