Mountain Chickadee

Poecile gambeli

Mountain Chickadee

Appearance

Mountain chickadees look very similar to other chickadees, their body is about the size of a tennis ball with a white belly, greyish wings and have a black cap on their head. The main difference between mountain chickadees and other chickadees is the white eyebrow markings they have above their eyes.

Range & Habitat

Their range extends from interior B.C. down into Southern California and east to the mountain ranges in western Texas. They live in mid to high elevations and make their homes in abandoned woodpecker holes in coniferous forests.

Diet & Behaviour

Mountain chickadees like to feed on berries as well as insects and seeds. Their name comes from their call which can be heard throughout forested areas in B.C.: “chick-a-dee-dee-dee”.

Lifecycle & Threats

Contrary to other birds these chickadees will only lay one egg a day up to 12 days in a row. After approximately two weeks the chicks are hatched. During this period of incubation the parents work together. Mom sits on the eggs while Dad searches for food to give to Mom. Dad continues to help out by feeding both kids and Mom well after the chicks are hatched. Threats include clear-cutting mountain habitat, intense fires, and habitat loss due to urban development.

Status

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

More Information

www.animals.nationalgeographic.com

Photo: Aaron Maizlish