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threatened and/or endangered

Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapilla


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Black-capped Chickadee
credit: Mdf/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Paridae, Chickadees and Titmice view all from this family

Description ADULT Has a gray-buff back and mostly dark wings, but with whitish edges to inner flight feathers and greater coverts, forming a pale panel. Head has prominent black cap, extending narrowly down nape, and neatly defined black throat and bib. White on face covers cheeks and extends to sides of nape. Underparts are otherwise pale with buffy pinkish wash to rear of flanks. Tail is dark with pale fringes to feathers. Legs are gray and short, stubby bill is dark. JUVENILE Similar to adult.

Dimensions Length: 4 3/4-5 3/4" (12-15 cm)

Habitat Widespread and common resident in a wide range of wooded habitats, including gardens and urban parks.

Observation Tips Usually extremely easy to see.

Range Western Canada, Northwest, Eastern Canada, Great Lakes, Southwest, Plains, Rocky Mountains, Alaska, New England, Mid-Atlantic, California, Southeast

Voice Song is a whistled, disyllabic fee-bee; calls its name: chika-dee-dee-dee.

Discussion Regular visitor to bird feeders and typically indifferent to people, especially ones who provide food. Nests in tree holes, but readily occupies nest boxes. Feeds on invertebrates and seeds, according to season, and joins roving mixed species flocks outside breeding season. Sexes are similar.