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Black Capped Chickadee

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Cute, curious and friendly. These are three adjectives commonly used to describe the Black Capped Chickadee. They are great adjectives, for this tiny little bird. And, the chickadee is certainly curious and friendly. It is not being shy about checking out humans in their territory. After getting to know you, the Black Capped Chickadee can be trained to eat bird seed out of the palm of your hand!

Chickadees are a non-migratory bird. They can be found from east to west coast, in the northern U.S. and southern Canada. Once you coax them into your backyard, they will take up permanent residence. You can find them nesting in trees, especially birch and alder trees. Watch your bird feeders closely. Chickadees will not linger at the feeder for long. They grab a seed and fly back to the safety of a tree branch, and eat it there. In the winter, you can find them flocking together in small groups.

The Black Capped Chickadee is readily identified by its black head and bib, with a head that is round and a little oversized. It is similar and slightly larger than to its cousin, the Carolina Chickadee. The male and female look alike, with the male being slightly larger. These birds will store extra seeds in caches for consumption later. With good memories, they can find where they stored th seeds up to a months later.

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Black Capped Chickadees are the state bird of Maine and Massachusetts.


Black Capped Chickadee Diet:

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In the summer, insects, especially caterpillars, make up a large part of their diet. You will often see them, going from branch to branch in search of insects. In the winter, their diet is mostly seeds and berries. Chickadees like black oil sunflower seeds, Safflower seeds, and seeds from pine trees. They also eat insect eggs and pupae.

Did You Know? Chickadees have been known to snack on dead animals. They feed on fatty deposits.


Life Cycle:

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Chickadees live up to 12 year, with most living about 6 years. They nest from April to June in a small hole in a tree. Both male and female excavate the hole together.

Only the female will build and tend the nest. The eggs are white with fine dots of reddish brown, concentrated at the larger end. There is usually 6-8 eggs, and incubate for 11-14 days. The hatchlings remain in the nest for 12-16 days.



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