The Honest Little Bird
The Carolina chickadee, not to be confused with the Black-capped or Mountain Chickadee, was referred to in ancient Cherokee legend as a bird that was honest in foretelling the coming of an absent friend or unknown stranger and even an enemy. The chickadee is also embodied in a Cherokee myth about the slaying of a wicked witch. The chickadee alighted on the witch’s vulnerable spot showing the Cherokees where to point a deadly arrow. Ever since, for the Cherokees, the chickadee has been known as “The Truth Teller”. The Cherokee storytellers would relate these legends to the entire village and instruct the children to be like the truth telling chickadee.
A famous American wildlife artist, John James Audubon (1785-1851), named the Carolina Chickadee while visiting South Carolina.
This honest little bird is often the subject of seasonal greeting cards and other artistic and photographic products.