A Black-capped Chickadee trapped for banding near Hastings will enter its ninth year in 2017. The bird has been banded at Carpenter Nature Center since November 2009. Nine years is a long time for a chickadee, five years a mark few of these birds achieve.
Chickadees have a heart rate of 520 beats per minute. That’s 31,200 an hour, 748,800 per day, over 273 million each year, and in its nine-year lifetime almost 2.5 billion beats.
A human with a pulse rate of 80 per minute would count 405 million beats during those nine years. That’s 16 percent of the bird’s total for the same period.
For the human, 4,800 per hour, 115,200 in 24 hours, almost 45 million a year, and in a lifetime of 74 years just over 3.1 billion.
The bird weighs about four-tenths of an ounce.
PS — If you do the math about the bird’s age, it looks like eight years. The federal banding lab has a guideline about age determination that puts this bird at nine.