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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 March 2017)
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)

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