Chickadee, Black-capped

Black-capped chickadeeLatin name: Poecile atricapilla

Length, wingspan: 5.25″, 8″

What they eat: Insects, seeds (esp. sunflowers), berries, suet

Plants that attract: Deciduous and coniferous trees, dense shrubs, fruit-bearing shrubs, flower seedheads

Where they nest: Tree cavities, nest boxes (4″ sq., 1-1/4″ entrance hole)

My observations: Out of all the birds that visit our garden, I have to say Black-capped Chickadees are the most adorable. They are small and have very rounded bodies, especially compared to that of Mountain Chickadees which are a little more streamlined. Their most common call is a two-tone whistle (a high note to a lower note). Black-caps have a larger, darker black “cap” of features on top of their heads, which contrasts beautifully with the pristine white of the rest of their head feathers. Their breast feathers black-capped Chickadeeare white to cream in color. These little guys are very industrious, flying to sunflower-filled feeders, quickly snatching one and then flying off to a perch to bash open the hulls. I often have a difficult time getting decent photos of them because they’re constantly on the move. They are very tame, though, and will practically land on you while you’re trying to fill a bird feeder! That’s a young Black-capped Chickadee in the photo to the left.

In this video, watch as an adult feeds its young:

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