COMMON NAME: Carolina Chickadee
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Poecile carolinensis
Sitting in the chain-link fence, this photo provides a good indicator of this bird’s small size. It’s looking for an opening at one of the nearby feeders on this winter day.
Here it is crouching on our porch guardrail looking at the feeder and the bird occupying it, about 10 inches away.
It has a black cap and bib separated by a widening white strip, a white body, gray wings, and a fairly long tail for its size. It’s almost identical to the Black-capped Chickadee, distinguishable because the latter has subtle white bars on its wings, a less well-defined lower bib ridge, its own distinct song, and does not inhabit this area.
The back/side view shows black on the back of the head and some light yellowish coloring on the lower body.
For a feeder, I placed an egg carton on the porch railing, which is covered by the porch roof and gave me a close view from inside.
The other day I walked out to the porch toward the feeder just as a little Carolina Chickadee was flying in for some food. It halted in mid-air and made the cutest chirp sound as it panicked and flew off.
Searching for a good seed.
Got it! This photo affords a better view of the subtle yellowish coloring on the side of the body.
Once a Chickadee grabs a seed from the feeder, it takes off to a nearby tree branch to peck the seed open and eat the treasure inside. Looking close, you can see it pulling the seed out of the shell.
An early spring photo with an underside view.
My first close-up of this bird, I was thrilled to get this shot. It was taken through a window just a few feet away.
My only flight photo of the Carolina Chickadee.
A Few Details About This Species:
Range – Is not much farther west than this property. It lives year-round from just south and southwest of Pennsylvania, curving southwest-ward down to the west edge of central Texas, all the way south in Texas, throughout the southeast to mid-Florida.
Habitat – Their breeding habitat is mixed or deciduous woods. They nest in a hole in a tree. The pair excavates the nest using a natural cavity or an old woodpecker nest. This species rarely migrates, even in severe winter weather.
Diet – These birds hop along tree branches searching for food, sometimes hanging upside down or hovering; they may make short flights to catch insects in the air. Insects form a large part of their diet, especially in summer; seeds and berries become important in winter. They sometimes hammer seeds on a tree or shrub to open them; they also will store seeds for later use.
During fall and winter, chickadees flock together. Certain other small birds flock together with them because chickadees call out when they find a good source of food.
Other – Adults are about 4-1/2 to 5 inches long, weighing less than 1/2 oz.
The most famous call is the familiar chick-a-dee-dee-dee which gave this bird its name and its song is fee-bee-fee-bay.