Black-capped Chickadee| State Bird Facts

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee ( Poecile atricapillus)

Description: The Black-capped Chickadee is very curious, notably unafraid of humans, and almost universally recognized for its cuteness.

States :
Massachusetts ,

Year Designated: Massachusetts: 1941, Maine: 1927


Key Facts

Life Span1.5 to 1.8 Years
FlightFlying Bird

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Type Chickadees


Weight9-14 g
Wing Span16-21 cm
Length12-15 cm

Taxonomic Serial Number


Compared to the Average State Bird

How the Black-capped Chickadee measures up:

  • Wing span15 cm and 42% smaller than the average state bird’s wingspan (36 cm).
  • Weight71 g and 84% lighter than the average state bird’s weight (85 g)
  • Length12 cm and 44% shorter than the average state bird’s length (27 cm)

Scientific Classification

AnimaliaChordataAvesPasseriformesParisaePoecile atricapillus


Appearance Description

Small, with a short nick, large head, and spherical body. Black cap and bib with white sides to face. Underparts are white with brown specks.
Male AppearanceMales are slightly longer and larger.



DietTheir diet primarily consists of insects, particularly caterpillars, during Summer. Seeds, berries, and other plant matter are the primary food source during Winter.
Communication StylesComplex and language-like, often used to recognize other flocks or as predatory alarms. Thirteen distinct types of sounds have been classified as a communication of a particular piece of information.
Migratory BehaviorNon-Migratory

Range of Habitation



Black-capped chickadees can be found all across the Northern half of the U.S. up to the southern edge of the Yukon. It prefers deciduous and conifererous forests but has also be frequently sighted in open woods, parks, and suburban areas.


predatory birds such as the pygmy owl.

Mating and Breeding

Breeding Overview

Breeding BehaviorMonogamous, pairs often mate for life.
Breeding SeasonApril – May
NestingConstructed by the female, the nest is a hollowed-out cavity in tree trunks and large branches, lined with moss. Averages 21 cm deep.
Nesting and IncubationIncubation, performed solely by the female, lasts 11-14 days. Fledging occurs after 12-16 days. Typically only one brood is hatched per year.


Black-capped Chickadee Eggs
ColorWhite with small reddish-brown spots concentrated on the larger end.
Clutch Size1 to 13 egg(s)

Chick description

Born with naked, with eyes closed. Small patches of gray downy feathers on back and head.


Birding Facts

Interesting FactBlack-capped Chickadees often hide seeds and other sources of nourishment and return at a later time to feed.
Best Season to ObserveAutumnSpringSummerWinter
Observation TipsThe Black-capped Chickadee is one of the easiest birds to attract to feeders.
Other NamesCarbonero de gorra oscura, Mésange à tête noire.


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