The Black Capped Chickadee is a pretty little bird with a pretty “chicka-dee-dee-dee” song. It ranges throughout Canada and the northern United States, including Alaska. The scientific name for the Black Capped Chickadee species is Poecile atricapillus. Black Capped Chickadees can be found anywhere in the woods or even residential areas. They usually flock together. Those flocks are likely to be mixed groups, having other species of small and chirpy birds. They settle on tree branches, woody shrubs,
in parks in residential areas, marshes and even weedy fields, which they choose for nesting. They sometimes even use woodpeckers’ abandoned nests. Their nesting season extends from the beginning of May to the end of June.
Their friendly nature and interesting active, acrobatic, curious social behavior, along with their melodious calls and songs, make Black Capped Chickadees very popular to observe. Chickadee calls are complex and language-like, communicating information on identity and recognition of other flocks as well as predator alarms and contact calls. The more dee notes in a chickadee-dee-dee call, the higher the level of the threat perceived by the Chickadee. The Black Capped Chickadee is round in shape and has a head that is larger than its body. On the average, a healthy Black Capped Chickadee weighs only approximately .38 ounces (11 gm) to .42 ounces (12 gm). Their total body length is 4.7”-5.9” (12-15 cm), and they have a wingspan of 6.3”-8.3” (16–21 cm). They have short wings, long, narrow tails and short bills. The males of this species have longer tails than the females. As the name suggests, the crown of the species is black, as is its chest (“bib”). Their wings are light grey with white on the edges and their backs are grey. The underneath side of their bodies is soft white in color. These sweet looking little birds have cute white cheeks and tiny shiny black eyes.