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Chestnut-backed  Chickadee

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paridae
Genus: Poecile
Species: rufescens

La. passer  sparrow
      small bird
La. forma  form, kind, species
La. parum  too little
La. parus  titmouse, tomtit
Gr. poecile  painted
La. rufus  red
La. escens  approaching

Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Allan Brooks, Birds of Canada, P. A. Taverner, 1934

 Allan Brooks

About four inches long. Dark brown crown, rich dark chestnut back, sides and flanks. Black throat and white sides of neck and underside. Grayish rusty wings. Gray tail edged with white.

USGS Chestnut-backed Chickadee Map

Inhabits coniferous and mixed forests in western and coastal areas from California to Alaska.

Builds nests of fine grass, feathers, plant fiber, hair and fur in abandoned or natural tree cavities or ones they excavate themselves and in bird houses.

Lays five to seven, more or less, white, sometimes speckled eggs.

Forages in trees and thickets for insects, spiders and cone seeds.  Chestnut-backed Chickadees are year around residents and might take advantage of northern winter warming roosts.

Feed Chickadees sunflower seeds, nyjer, and suet.

Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Allan Brooks

Allan Brooks

The Chestnut-backed Chickadee nest box (same as for Nuthatches, Titmice, Downy Woodpecker and other Chickadees)
has a 4" by 4" floor, 9" inside ceiling, 1 1/4" diameter entrance hole located 7" above the floor and ventilation openings. Assembled with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes. Hinged roof is secured with shutter hooks for easy access.

Mount nest box on a tree trunk or hang from a tree limb from chest level to just out of reach, higher only if necessary.

Chestnut-backed Chickadee Nest Box Plans
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Nest Box Plans


Because Chickadees commonly nest in natural or abandon cavities, or excavate their own cavities, a few chips on the nest box floor are fitting. Remove the nest after the brood rearing seasons are over. 


Baby Chickadees, Herman T. Bohlman & William Lovell Finley

Herman T. Bohlman & William Lovell Finley, American Birds, 1907


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