Skjalg-Helmer Vian (14), a bird enthusiast from Vadsø, Norway, has been interested in birds since childhood. His family has a bird feeding station filled with sunflower seeds at their cabin. Recently, while he was reading about the Grey-headed chickadee, also known as the Siberian tit, the bird actually swooped in to see what the fuss was about. His father, Geir Arne Vian, captured the amazing photo opp, and the image has been circulating online.
The Grey-headed chickadee, a type of bird belonging to the tit family, is widespread throughout subarctic Scandinavia and northern Asia and also into North America in Alaska and the far northwest of Canada. Despite its name, the bird has no grey on its head, which is black, white, and brown.
Skjalg-Helmer Vian was fascinated with the Grey-headed chickadee and was reading about it when the bird actually flew in and landed on his book, resulting in the now-viral photograph. He said it’s not that unusual for birds to land on him, especially when he’s filling up the feeding station or holding seeds.
Skjalg-Helmer’s family is also visited by two great tits, which are naturally quite trusting birds. When they feed the birds at their station, they use pre-cleaned sunflower seeds, and one of the birds has started to understand that it can come to a human’s hand and get food.
“I had some cleaned seeds in my hand. It usually jumps around on my hat when I’m filling it up at the feeding station, so it’s not unusual that it landed on the book,” said Skjalg-Helmer.
His father, Geir Arne Vian, saw the once-in-a-lifetime moment and quickly snapped the photo, which has now become a viral sensation online.
Bird enthusiasts like Skjalg-Helmer Vian and his family open our eyes to the beauty and wonder of nature, even in small creatures such as birds. It’s amazing how we can develop trust with these creatures by feeding them and being kind to them, and it’s heartwarming to see that even in the cold climate of Vadsø, Norway, birds still flock to a friendly hand. The photo of the Grey-headed chickadee landing on Skjalg-Helmer’s book proves that the wonders of nature can pop up unexpectedly, and we should always be ready to capture those moments.