Mountain Chickadee

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

La. passer  sparrow, small
La. forma  form, kind, species
La. parum  too little
La. parus  titmouse, tomtit
Gr. poecile  painted
La. bambeli  for William

Mountain Chickadee, Allan Brooks, Birds of Western Canada, P. A. Taverner, 1926


About four inches or a little longer, black crown and throat, white supercilium (line from the base of the upper mandible over the eye to the back of the head). White on sides of the head to the back of the neck. Gray back, wings and tail. Light grayish white underside.

Inhabits coniferous and mixed forests year around in the mountainous regions of western U.S. from New Mexico, Arizona, California and Baja to Montana, Idaho, Washington, and British Columbia.

USGS Mountain Chickadee Map

Builds nests of grass, plant down and wool or hair in abandoned and natural cavities of trees and stumps from near the ground up to twenty feet.

Lays six to ten, more or less, white, sometimes speckled eggs which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another three weeks. Hisses like a snake when defending its nest.

Eats insects, seeds and fruit. Will frequent feeders and nest in bird houses.  Feed Chickadees sunflower seeds, nyjer (thistle seeds) and suet.

Mountain Chickadee Birdhouse (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.

Chickadee Nestbox Plans
Chickadee Nest Box Plans

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

Chickadees commonly nest in natural or abandon cavities, or excavate their own cavities.  Place a few chips on the nest box floor. Remove the nest after the brood rearing season is over.

Mountain Chickadees are year around residents and might take advantage of northern winter warming roosts.




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