4 3/4-5 3/4" (12-15 cm). Black head with white cheeks and sides of neck; gray above; white below with orange-washed flanks.
Similar Species- Mexican Chickadee, Mountain Chickadee.
A melancholy fee-bee.
Resident across portions of Alaska and Canada, south to northwestern California, southern Utah, central New Mexico, portions of Midwest, northern New Jersey, and (at higher elevations) southern Appalachians. Wanders irregularly south in winter.
Found in deciduous and mixed forests and woodlands, tall thickets, open woodlands, and parks.
Eats mainly insects and other small invertebrates, their eggs and immature stages, and seeds and fruits.
Nests in cavity in tree or standing snag. Forages in foliage. Forms foraging and roosting flocks in winter. In Alberta study, winter survival rates were higher in food-supplemented area than in control area, but breeding densities in the 2 areas were similar. In southwestern Alberta, territory size averaged about 8-9 ha, and overlapped territories of Mountain Chickadee. An Idaho study conducted in cottonwood forests indicated these chickadees preferred agricultural landscapes over more natural landscapes.
Both parents, or female only, incubate 5-10 eggs (usually 6-8), for 11-13 days. Young are tended by both parents, and leave nest at 14-18 days.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Saab, V.A. 1996. Influences of spatial scale and land-use practices on habitat relationships of breeding birds in cottonwood riparian forests. Ph.D. Dissertation, Univ. Colorado, Boulder. 140pp.