Maine State Bird
Black-capped Chickadee (common name)
Poecile atricapilla (scientific name)
The black-capped chickadee is a minuscule, short-billed bird that is a common sight in the woods and at backyard birdfeeders in the northern half of the U.S. A sociable bird with a cheerful song, it is strikingly marked with a black crown, black bib, white cheeks, and a light gray back and belly. It was adopted as the state bird of Maine in 1927 and of Massachusetts in 1941. Caterpillars, spiders, and other insects make up half its diet, with seeds and berries constituting the other half. Males and females form long-term bonds. They nest in the holes of trees, taking advantage of natural holes or old woodpecker holes when possible. If these are not available, both sexes participate in excavating a nest hole. Only the female builds the nest out of moss and soft hair. The female incubates her eggs for two weeks, during which time the male feeds her. Young birds leave the nest permanently after six weeks.
ALSO KNOWN AS
Back-capped tit, black-capped titmouse, common chickadee, long-tailed chickadee, Oregon chickadee, Yukon chickadee
In the winter, black-capped chickadees associate in loose "foraging flocks," flying across open areas one at a time in a "bouncy" flight. The chickadee's primary song is a simple, clear whistle of two notes, which sounds like "bee-bay" and is used by males to maintain contact with the flock. Chickadees have a very complex range of calls including alarms and identification calls for individuals and flocks.
Chickadees are found in habitat that has trees and shrubs, from forests to residential neighborhoods. They prefer to live in mixed deciduous and pine forests and to nest in birch or alder trees. Occasionally they are also found in willow thickets, fields, cottonwood stands, and cattail marshes.
Range: Breeds from Alaska to Newfoundland in the north, with a southern range running from northern California through northern New Mexico and the Midwest to New England.
Migration: Does not generally migrate, although birds will migrate short distances in the winter to find food.
Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
Nesting Period: April to May
Size of Clutch: 1-13 eggs
Incubation Period: 12-13 days
Egg Description: White with small reddish-brown spots
Egg Size: Length 0.6 in (15 mm) and width 0.5 in (13 mm)
Boreal chickadee, chestnut-backed chickadee, mountain chickadee, Carolina chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, Blackpoll warbler
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|Author: World Trade Press|