Meet the Adorable Black Capped Chickadee
The black capped chickadee is one of the friendliest fliers in North America. Learn more about their song, nest and more.
What Does a Black Capped Chickadee Look Like?
- Scientific Name: Poecile atricapilla
- Family: Chickadee
- Length: 5-1/4 inches
- Wingspan: 8 inches
- Distinctive Markings: Black cap and chin, white cheeks and gray back
Check out 20 incredibly cute chickadee pictures.
Male and Female Chickadees
“How do you tell male and female black capped chickadees apart?” asks Hannah and Lily Ashdown of Schuylerville, New York. Birding experts Kenn and Kimberly write, “Male and female black capped chickadees look identical, at least to humans, so behavioral clues are the only ways to distinguish them. It’s mostly males that sing the signature fee-bee song. And, in aggressive encounters at bird feeders, males are usually dominant over females. In gentler times, a male will feed his mate during courtship. Both members of a pair hollow out a nest cavity in a tree, then the female builds a nest inside and incubates the eggs. After the eggs hatch, the male brings most of the food to the nest at first, while the female tends to the hatchlings.
What Do Black Capped Chickadees Eat?
Courtesy Christa Zanto
Learn how to identify and attract a Carolina chickadee.
Nest and Eggs
Learn how to identify and attract a mountain chickadee.
Black Capped Chickadee Sounds and Song
Listen to the black capped chickadee’s sounds. Their “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” is its recognizable call; the song is a “phoe-bee” tune.
Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Nuthatch vs chickadee: Here’s how to tell the difference.
Black Capped Chickadee Range Map and Habitat
Courtesy Peg Runyan
Look for these birds in wooded residential areas and open woodlands. Chickadees don’t migrate, so keep your backyard feeders clean and filled for these birds year-round.
Range maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.