Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee
(Poecile atricapillus)

Order:  Passeriformes
Family:  Paridae

By Cephas [GFDL], via WC

Black-capped Chickadee Information

Length:  4.75 - 5.75"

Habitat:  Deciduous woods, coniferous woods, or mixed deciduous-coniferous woods (prefers mixed); forest edges; thickets; fields, orchards, parks, gardens, urban areas.

Diet:  Insects, caterpillars, spiders; insect and spider eggs; weed seeds such as ragweed and goldenrod; wild fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, and wild cherries; pine, hemlock, and birch seeds.

  Song & calls of the Black-capped Chickadee

Preferred Bird Feeder Food

  • Black-capped chickadees favor black oil sunflower seeds (whole and shelled) and suet. They are also attracted to whole shelled peanuts, crushed peanuts, peanut butter, and dried fruit.
  • These birds use a wide variety of bird feeders, from tube feeders to platform feeders and hoppers. They also enjoy small hanging feeders and window feeders.
  • Offer suet in suet cages. Peanut butter can be smeared on the bark of a tree, on pine cones hung near the feeder, and on suet logs.

Additional Information

Black-capped Chickadee
Photo, description, range, diet, life history and conservation. (From National Wildlife Federation)

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

By Mdf [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via WC

Black-capped Chickadee
Identification Tips

  • Short bill
  • Black crown and throat
  • White face
  • Pale gray upperparts
  • White edges to wing coverts
  • Grayish-white underparts
  • Rusty flanks
  • Sexes similar
  • Often found in small flocks
Similar species

Boreal Chickadees have more brown in their plumages than the Black-capped.

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Black-capped Chickadee
Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Black-capped Chickadee Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Range in New England

The Black-capped Chickadee is a year-round resident of New England.

Black-capped Chickadee
Range Maps from Cornell

Black-capped Chickadee year-round range

Includes separate map of sightings.

Black-capped Chickadee
Christmas Bird Count Map

Historical CBC Map from USGS