Chickadees

Mountain Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee

Keith Moore/NPS

Poecile gambeli

Weight: 0.4 oz (11 g)
Length: 4.3-5.5 in (11-14 cm)
Wingspan: 7.5 in (19 cm)

Habitat

Conifers in high elevation, dry, mountain forests.

Diet

Mostly insects. Also eats insect eggs, puape, seeds, and berries.

 

Identification

The Mountain Chickadee is a tiny bird with a large head, small bill, round belly, and a long tail. Black-and-white head with a white body and gray wings. The Mountain Chickadee is distinguished from other chickadees by the white stripe over its eye.

Behavior

Quick, acrobatic bird that flies from tree to tree and hangs upside down on pine cones.

Juveniles spend time exploring on their own, but as winter approaches, they will join a group of adults that typically remain together throughout the season.

Nest sites are usually in natural holes within trees or holes carved out by woodpeckers or nuthatches. Mountain chickadees will excavate their own holes in trees if the wood is soft enough.

Conservation

Widespread and common, but surveys show decline of population in some areas.

When and where to see at Bryce

The Mountain Chickadee is a common bird throughout the park but they often remain in tall evergreen trees, making them difficult to see at times. They often fly together with other small bird species, so a cluster of birds is likely to contain Mountain Chickadees (except for during the nesting season).

Further Reading

Mountain Chickadee | Audubon Field Guide

Mountain Chickadee Overview, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Last updated: February 9, 2021

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Mailing Address:

P.O Box 640201
Bryce , UT 84764

Phone:

435 834-5322
Phones are answered and messages returned as soon as possible as staffing allows.

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