Common Name

Black-capped Chickadee

Species Name

Poecile atricapillus

©2007 Don Enright


12-15 cm length | 16-22 cm wingspan | 9-14 g weight 

This small, round, and highly curious bird is the most widespread chickadee in North America. They have a solid black cap and bib, a short black bill, and greyish-brown shoulder and back. They have a white belly with faded buff sides, and white edges on their wing and outer tail feathers. 

This bird can be seen year-round across Canada, and is the provincial bird of New Brunswick.  

Habitat / Behaviour

Omnivore | Woodlands, urban parks | Lives up to 12 years 

Lives in a variety of wooded habitats including deciduous and mixed forests, urban parks, and developed areas.  

This friendly bird is a common visitor to various feeders containing peanuts, mealworms, sunflower seeds or suet. They also eat berries, vegetation, insects, spiders and small amounts of animal parts including fat and flesh. They commonly hide food in several locations (known as ‘caching’), so they have food sources in times of scarcity. 


Monogamous | Cavity nest | 1-13 white/spotted rust eggs | 1 set of young per year 

Black-capped chickadees build nests in natural cavities found in trees or rotting tree stumps, cavities made by other species, as well as nest boxes. Male and female pairs will also excavate their own cavity in a location chosen by the female. 

Females build cup-shaped nests inside the cavity or nest box using moss, fur, plant fiber, hair and feathers. 

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