Black-capped Chickadee

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.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 15 September 2006
Scientific Name
Poecile atricapilla
  • Passeriformes
  • Paridae
  • Poecile
  • P. atricapillus
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 20 March 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
5.25 inches

International Names

Chinese (汉语) 黑顶山雀
Czech (Cesky) Sýkora černohlavá
Danish (Dansk) Amerikansk Fyrremejse
Dutch (Nederlands) Amerikaanse Matkop
Finnish (Suomi) Amerikanhömötiainen
French (Français) Mésange à Tête Noire
German (Deutsch) Schwarzkopfmeise
Italian (Italiano) Cincia Bigia Americana
Japanese (日本語) アメリカコガラ (Amerikakogara)
Norwegian (Norsk) Amerikameis
Polish (Polski) Sikora Jasnoskrzydla
Russian (русский язык) Буроголовая гаичка
Spanish (Español) Carbonero Cabecinegro
Swedish (Svenska) Amerikansk Talltita
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