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Black-capped Chickadee

Scientific name: Poecile aricapillus

This cheerful little bird is a common sight at bird feeders, especially in wintertime. It is easy to identify given its small size, black cap, white cheeks and belly. The short bill and long tail contribute to the all-over appearance of the chickadee as a “round” looking bird.  Despite their small brain, this diminutive bird can do something that most of us can’t, which is remember the thousands of places where it has hidden food! It is thought that their brains reset before winter making room for all the new things that they will need to recall. Chickadees will flock together in winter, with other small birds joining them. Their call is a pleasant one and very easy to learn. Scroll down to hear for yourself.

Weight

Its weight is equal to that of a few paperclips - only 1/3 of an ounce

Length

5 inches

Wingspan

6 to 8 inches

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 Listen

Diet

They eat insects, seeds and suet.

Habitat

The chickadee is often found at feeders, and in and around wooded areas. They will use their beaks to extract insects from the bark of trees. In winter, each chickadee will find its own hollow cavity to sleep in.

Ecosystem Connections

The chickadee will warn others birds of impending danger from predators with an alarm call. The more “dee dee dee” notes sounded, the higher the threat.

Fun Facts

There is a hierarchy among the chickadee flocks, with some birds being higher status than others. Surprisingly, there have been many studies of this behavior. Read this article to learn more.

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