|Conservation status||Very common in parts of its range, but surveys suggest declining numbers in recent decades.|
|Family||Chickadees and Titmice|
|Habitat||Oak woods, pinyon-juniper; locally river woods, shade trees. Along Pacific seaboard, occurs most commonly in oak woodland, including areas where oaks meet streamside trees or pines; also in well-wooded suburbs, rarely in coniferous forest in mountains. In the interior, also occurs in some woodlands dominated by pine or juniper.|
Forages by hopping about in branches and larger twigs of trees, sometimes hanging upside down, searching for insects among the foliage and on the bark. Opens nuts and acorns by holding them with feet and pounding with bill. Comes to bird feeders for seeds or suet.
Usually 6-7, sometimes 3-9. White, sometimes lightly dotted with reddish brown. Incubation is by female only, 14-16 days. Young: Both parents bring food to nestlings. Young leave nest about 16-21 days after hatching.
Both parents bring food to nestlings. Young leave nest about 16-21 days after hatching.
Insects, nuts, seeds. Feeds mainly on insects, including many caterpillars, beetles, true bugs, leafhoppers, aphids, scale insects, and many others, as well as some spiders. Also eats acorns, weed seeds, and sometimes berries or small fruits.
Pairs or family groups may defend territories all year. Nest site (selected by female) is usually in hole in tree, sometimes hole in stump, fence post, or pole. May be natural cavity or old woodpecker hole. In rotten wood, both members of pair may work to enlarge small cavities for their use. Also will use nest boxes, and sometimes crevices in buildings or other cavities. Nest has foundation of grass, weeds, moss, bark fibers, and lining of soft material such as feathers or animal hair.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Permanent resident, seldom wandering very far away from nesting areas.
- 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 harsh, fussy see-dee-dee or chick-a-dee-dee.
Learn more about this sound collection.