Black-capped Chickadee

photo by Phil Swanson

Poecile atricapillus
L 5 1/4″ (13 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Rapid, nasal “chickadee-dee-dee.” Song is slow “fee-beee; beee” at lower pitch. 

Description: Sexes similar. Black throat and cap; white cheeks; gray above; creamy below, with buffy flanks. Wing coverts and secondaries are broadly edged in white.

Behavior: Black-capped Chickadees are primary cavity nesters, which means they excavate their own hole, usually in soft, rotting tree stumps.

black capped chickadee
Habitat: Deciduous and coniferous forests, as well as orchards, woodlots, and urban areas. Nesting often occurs in edge situations or open areas of forest.

Where in Nebraska: Common permanent resident across the state. The population increases during winter months with the arrival of migrants from farther north.

Fun Facts: Black-capped Chickadees each autumn allow old neuron cells to die and new ones to grow in order to adapt to social and environmental changes.

Black-capped Chickadee - photo by Phil Swanson Black-capped Chickadee - NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
(click image for larger view)