Boreal Chickadee

Parus hudsonicus


These small birds have brown colouring on top of their head and black under their chin. They also have a white belly. They have a short bill, are fluffy and round, and are 13 to 14 centimetres long.

Range & Habitat

They breed in the coniferous forests of North America, from the tree line in the north to the northern most U.S. states in the south. They usually stay in this same area for breeding and to over-winter. Occasionally some will go further south, but most of them are able to survive the cold winters.

Diet & Behaviour

Boreal chickadees forage in trees, eating insects, seeds and some fruit. They often hang upside down when eating! They say their name “chickadee” when they call and will scold loudly when someone enters their territory. They are usually in pairs in the summer and small flocks for the winter.

Lifecycle & Threats

Boreal chickadees nest in cavities, using old woodpecker nests or excavating their own. They line their nest with lichen, moss, fur or tree bark. The female lays four to nine eggs and the male will feed the female while she’s on the nest. The young fledglings leave the nest about three weeks after hatching.


COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

More Information


Photo: JulioM