|Conservation status||Surveys indicate slight declines in population in recent decades, possibly because of loss of habitat.|
|Family||Chickadees and Titmice|
|Habitat||Moist conifer forests; adjacent oaks, shade trees. In much of its range, a bird of dense, moist coniferous forest, with trees such as spruce, fir, tamarack, hemlock, and others. In southern part of range, lives in pine-oak woods and in redwood forest with understory of alders and willows, also in oak woods and in groves of willows along streams.|
Forages mostly by hopping among twigs and branches and gleaning food from surface, often hanging upside down to reach underside of branches. Often probes in crevices in bark, and sometimes takes food while hovering. Readily comes to bird feeders for seeds or suet. May store food, recovering it later.
6-7, sometimes 5-9. White, with fine reddish brown dots concentrated at larger end; sometimes unmarked white. Incubation is probably by female, but details not well known. If disturbed, adult on nest flutters wings and makes loud hissing noise. Young: Probably cared for by both parents. Development of young and age at first flight not well known.
Probably cared for by both parents. Development of young and age at first flight not well known.
Mostly insects, seeds, berries. Feeds on a wide variety of insects, including caterpillars, moths, beetles, leafhoppers, scale insects, small wasps, and others. Also eats spiders, seeds (especially of conifers), and berries.
Nesting behavior is not well known. Members of pair may remain together all year. Nest site is in hole in tree, usually low, 2-20' above ground; can be much higher (reportedly up to 80"). Will nest in the same site more than one year. Uses natural cavity in dead or rotten wood, the chickadees often excavating or enlarging it themselves; also will nest in old woodpecker holes or in nest boxes. Nest has foundation of moss, lichens, feathers, bark fibers, plant down, lined with soft materials such as animal hair.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Mostly permanent resident. Individuals may wander short distances in fall and winter.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
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Songs and CallsA squeaky chick-a-dee, somewhat shriller and faster than that of other chickadees. Often simply utters a thin tsee-deee and thin lisping notes.
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