Carolina Chickadee

COMMON NAME:  Carolina Chickadee
SCIENTIFIC NAME:  Poecile carolinensis
FAMILY:  Paridae
ORDER:  Passeriformes


Ah, my little chickadee! 22 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Ah, my little chickadee! 22 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

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.


Eyeballing the food. 22 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Eyeballing the food. 22 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

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.


Rear view. 22 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Rear view. 22 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

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.


Top view. 22 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Top view. 22 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Searching for a good seed.


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Seed in beak. 22 Jan 2013. Click to enlarge.

Got it! This photo affords a better view of the subtle yellowish coloring on the side of the body.


Eating. 13 Sep 2013. Click to enlarge.

Eating. 13 Sep 2013. Click to enlarge.

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.


High in an Oak Tree. 13 Mar 2012. Click to enlarge.

High in an Oak Tree. 13 Mar 2012. Click to enlarge.

An early spring photo with an underside view.


Close-up. 13 Dec 2012. Click to enlarge.

Close-up. 13 Dec 2012. Click to enlarge.

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.


Full frontal. 13 Sep 2013. Click to enlarge.

Full frontal. 13 Sep 2013. Click to enlarge.


Hanging around. 17 Mar 2013. Click to enlarge.

Hanging around. 17 Mar 2013. Click to enlarge.


Here's looking at you. 9 Apr 2013. Click to enlarge.

Here’s looking at you. 9 Apr 2013. Click to enlarge.


In flight. 13 Mar 2012. Does not enlarge.

In flight. 13 Mar 2012. Does not enlarge.

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.


More Carolina Chickadee Photos and Information At:

iNaturalist
Project Noah
All About Birds (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
Wikipedia
Google Images


Related Links on this site:

– All Bird Posts
– Bird Index


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