Typical chickadee shape with a proportionally large head, plump body and medium-length tail. Unique among North American chickadees, this species has a white superlium that separates the black crown and the black through the eye. It is colder gray overall and has a narrower black throat patch than other chickadees. Dark tail and legs. There two types. Rocky Mountain/Interior birds are generally tinged olive with a broader white supercilium than Pacific Coast form and tend to have more white on the forehead. Pacific Coast birds seem to show more black on forehead along with a narrower white supercilium and the black around the eye tends to look flared, whereas the black eye stripe on Rocky Mountain birds tends to look more even in width. Juveniles are similar to adults with a much subdued white supercilium and dark sooty gray on the head rather than jet black. Hatch-year Pacific Coast birds may appear to have almost no white supercilium and are occasionally misidentified as Black-capped Chickadees in areas where Black-capped do not occur.
Length: 13 (cm) Wingspan: 21 (cm)
Three-part whistling call, high pitched for first note, lower pitched for second two notes: cheese-burger. Raspy Chik-a-zee-zee and other whistles and dzee notes.
High elevation coniferous forests.
Often hangs upside down while foraging. Flocks regularly, often with other species. Visits feeders.
Diet consists of insects, spiders and seeds.
Expanded Life History
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