Black-Capped Chickadee

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Poecile Atricapillus

Black-Capped Chickadee

Adults have a black cap and "bib" with white sides to the face. Their underparts are white with rusty brown on the flanks. Their back is gray and their tail is normally slate-gray. Their eyes are black, legs and feet are dark gray.

Both sexes are similar, but males are slightly larger and longer than females.

Juveniles resemble adults.

BILL: short, dark, (0.31 – 0.37 inches).

SIZE: small, with an average length of 5 1/4 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 9 - 14 grams.

COLOR: black, white, rusty-brown, slate-gray, and gray.

Feeds on insects, caterpillars, snails, and spiders. During winter, they eat berries and seeds that they hide for later.

Primary Diet: carnivore  (insectivore). 

Animal Foods: carrion, insects, terrestrial non-insect arthropods.

Plant Foods: seeds, grains, nuts, and fruits.

Open deciduous and mixed woodlands, clearings and suburban areas. Most of these birds are found at forest edges, in old fields, thickets, and parks.

Canada and in the northern half of the United States.

Their call is a low and slow “chick-a-dee- dee-dee”. Its typical song is a whistled and clear “fee-bee” or “fee-bee-ee”, with the first note higher than others. Males and females give a “tseet” at any time of year as a contact call.

NEST: The female builds a cup-shaped, and made with moss, and lined with rabbit fur, plant down, hair, feathers, and spider webs. It is often located in cavities they excavate themselves, or natural cavities, woodpecker holes or nest boxes.

EGGS: 6 - 8 small eggs of varied colors.

INCUBATION: 12 - 13 days, female fed by the male.

Social, found in small flocks, foraging in woodlands or at feeders, gleaning from foliage and tree bark, and often hide berries and seeds in the crevices of bark or under leaves, and they can remember these locations for up to a month. They are monogamous and mates remain together for several years.

The oldest known wild Black-capped Chickadee was a male and at least 11 years, 6 months.

Black-Capped Chickadee Infographic





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