Chickadees - Nature’s Backyard Charmer

Chickadees may be the most beloved birds that visit our backyards, but their seemingly never-ending energy and inquisitive nature are only part of what makes these birds fun to watch.

  • Chickadees are inquisitive and found in wooded areas across much of North America. The more common species include the Black-capped, Carolina and Mountain Chickadees.
  • Chickadees are easily identified by their namesake call “chick-a-dee.”
  • Chickadees weigh less than half an ounce.
  • In early summer, Mountain Chickadees are able to find and eat seeds they hid during the previous autumn.
  • Chestnut-backed and Black-capped Chickadees watch other birds’ foraging habits to see if they should adapt their behavior to be more successful.
  • Boreal Chickadees' winter-cached foods are most often stored lower on the tree in which they were found but high enough above common snow lines.
  • Chickadees are generally monogamous and stay with the same mate for life.
  • Chickadees are cavity nesters and will excavate their own nest site in rotten or decaying wood or use an old woodpecker hole or use a nesting box. (Mountain chickadees may nest under rock in a bank or in a hole in the ground.)
  • Though chickadees are regular visitors to feeders, over 75% of their winter food supply still comes from natural sources.
  • Chickadees do not migrate and are equipped to survive harsh winter weather. They cache foods and remember where they are hidden, have dense winter coats, diligently find excellent, well-insulated roosting cavities and can perform a regulated hypothermia to conserve energy overnight.
  • When the temperature falls below 10º F, research has shown that the survival rate of chickadees almost doubled when they had access to feeders.
  • Chickadees can gain as much as 10% of their body weight each day and lose it all again during a cold winter night.