Add to favorites
Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Vireo
Black-billed Magpie

About the Black-capped Chickadee

The Black-capped Chickadee is a cute small songbird, a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. Adults have a black cap and bib with white sides to the face. Their underparts are white with rusty brown on the flanks; their back is grey. They have a short dark bill, short wings and a long tail.

These cute birds hop along tree branches searching for food, sometimes hanging upside down or hovering; they may make short flights to catch insects in the air. Insects form a large part of their diet, especially in summer; seeds and berries become important in winter. They sometimes hammer seeds on a tree or shrub to open them; they also will store seeds for later use.

During the fall migration and winter, chickadees often flock together. Many other species of birds, including titmice, nuthatches, and warblers can often be found foraging in these flocks. Mixed flocks stay together because the chickadees call out whenever they find a good source of food. This calling out forms cohesion for the group, allowing the other birds to find food more efficiently. When flocking, Black-capped Chickadees soon establish a rigid social hierarchy.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 15 September 2006
Scientific Name Poecile atricapilla
  • Passeriformes
  • Paridae
  • Poecile
  • P. atricapillus
Birdorable Family Tits, Chickadees & Kinglets
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 15 September 2017)
Measurements
Units: Imperial Metric
5.25 inches
Range North America United States (West) United States (East)

International Names

  • 黑顶山雀 (Chinese)
  • Sýkora černohlavá (Czech)
  • Amerikansk Fyrremejse (Danish)
  • Amerikaanse Matkop (Dutch)
  • Amerikanhömötiainen (Finnish)
  • Mésange à Tête Noire (French)
  • Schwarzkopfmeise (German)
  • Cincia Bigia Americana (Italian)
  • アメリカコガラ (Amerikakogara) (Japanese)
  • Amerikameis (Norwegian)
  • Sikora Jasnoskrzydla (Polish)
  • Буроголовая гаичка (Russian)
  • Carbonero Cabecinegro (Spanish)
  • Amerikansk Talltita (Swedish)

Related articles & downloads

How many

How many

Black-capped Chickadees are resident birds across their range, which spans much of the northern half of North America. In their range, they are common back yard feeder birds, often found in mixed ... more
Chickadee Pumpkin Pattern

Chickadee Pumpkin Pattern

Our first free pumpkin carving pattern is a cut-out Birdorable chickadee. Chickadees love Halloween, you know! After all, they are always singing, "Trick or treat-treat-treat-treat," aren't they?! ... more
Cute Bird Halloween Pumpkin Patterns

Cute Bird Halloween Pumpkin Patterns

Get ready to dress up your pumpkins this Halloween with some cute Birdorable birds! Below you can download four different cute bird pumpkin carving patterns of varying skill levels as free downloads. ... more
Fun facts about chickadees

Fun facts about chickadees

Check out these fun facts about chickadees: There are seven species of chickadee in the world. Chickadees, along with titmice, belong to the family Paridae. This family of songbirds also includes birds known ... more
T-Shirt Tuesday: Christmas Songbirds

T-Shirt Tuesday: Christmas Songbirds

This week's highlighted t-shirt features three of our cute Birdorable songbirds in festive form. Black-capped Chickadee, American Goldfinch (in non-breeding plumage, of course), and Dark-eyed Junco (slate-colored) all wear red and white ... more
Back to School with Birdorable

Back to School with Birdorable

Here is a great Birdorable designs for back-to-school and students of all ages. One bird, two birds, red bird, blue bird features Birdorable versions of the Robin, Black-capped Chickadee, Cardinal and Blue ... more