Nature Journal
with Photos

          
Black-capped Chickadee Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
 

General Information
- 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
The Black-capped Chickadee is very similar to the Carolina Chickadee and where their ranges overlap they can be difficult to separate. In fact, they have trouble telling themselves apart and hybrids occur.

The most obvious difference between them is their songs. Black-capped sings a two note song while Carolina sings a four note song. Hybrids sing a three note song. Outside of the breeding season, when chickadees don't sing much, the Black-capped is slightly larger, has more white edging in the wing and has slower, lower-pitched calls

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

 
 
Return to Black-capped Chickadee page