Carolina Chickadee

photo by Phil Swanson

Poecile carolinensis
L 4 3/4″ (12 cm).

Song or calls:
Higher, faster “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” than Black-capped’s. 4-note “fee-bee fee-bay song.”

Description: Sexes similar. Gray above; pale below; black cap and bib; and white cheeks. Lacks broad white edgings on wing coverts, and the lower edge of black bib is usually neater than Black-capped Chickadee’s. Best distinguished by song.

Habitat: Open deciduous forests, woodland clearings and edges, and suburban areas. Forages in trees and thickets, and seldom descends to the ground to feed.

Where in Nebraska: Accidental. Specimens captured in Fontenelle Forest, Sarpy County in 1974, after being first heard there in 1969.

Fun Facts: Carolina Chickadees can hybridize with Black-capped Chickadees and their offspring can sing either song of the parents or something in between.