Photo by:Danielle Langlois

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paridae
Genus: Poecile
Species: Poecile atricapillus 


The  Black-capped Chickadee is a small non-migratory song bird that is mostly found in deciduous and coniferous woods, as well as open woods and suburban areas. They are very widespread, and found coast to coast in North America, which includes much of Canada and the Northern two thirds of the United States. The top of their head is black all the way around and cuts off just under the eye. The cheeks are white with a black “bib” or chin and it has buff flanks (Sumlin. pers.obs.2012). Males and females are similar, though males are slightly longer and have a whiter plumage (Mennill 2003). There are several other North American species that are similar to the Black-capped Chickadee: Carolina Chickadees, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Boreal Chickadees, and Mountain Chickadees (Stokes,1996).  Black-capped Chickadee’s closest relative is  the Mountain Chickadee ( Gill et al. 2005; Reudink et al. 2007), the main visible difference being a white eye stripe on the Mountain Chickadee.  Though, the only ones found on the Evergreen campus are the Black-capped and the Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Sumlin. pers.obs.2012).  Black-capped Chickadees can be distinguished from Chestnut-backed Chickadees by the absence of a chestnut colored nape (Sumlin. Pers.obs.2012). They also have slightly different sounding calls and songs from the Chestnut-backed Chickadees.  Black-Capped Chickadees are well adapted to humans, and have even been known to feed from one’s hand!

Food Habits
Field Notes
Population Trends and Conservation Issues
Literature Cited
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