Black-capped Chickadee

Poecile atricapilla

The black-capped chickadee
The black-capped chickadee

The black-capped chickadee is one the most prominent birds in Northwest Ohio.  It is also one of the favorites.

This is a very friendly bird.  When many other birds will fly away when approached by humans this little guy will usually not be frightened.  It has been known to eat bird seed right out of people's hands.

This bird is a year-round resident of Northwest Ohio and all other areas that it lives in.  It doesn't fly south in the winter like man other birds do.  It hangs tough during the cold winter months.


song #1

song #2

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Highly Adaptable to Cold Weather

Even during the coldest weather the little chickadee is still frequently seen. That's because this little bird has several different ways that it copes with cold winter weather.

Like other birds that stay here during the cold winter months, they have a thick winter coat.  It will also carefully hide food as well as seek out cavities in trees to stay in.

The most impressive way that they small birds survive the cold weather is by controlling their own temperature.  This allows them to conserve energy during the coldest weather.  It has been discovered that this little bird is able to reduce its core temperature 12 to 15 degrees F from its normal daytime temperature.

By reducing its temperature it can reduce its own metabolism.  This in effect helps the bird to conserve huge amounts of energy.

Source:  National Wildlife Federation Magazine (Dec. / Jan. 2008 edition)


You Can Help Them Stay Warm

These birds love black oiler sunflower seeds.  This type of seed is very high in fat content.  The birds need the high fat content to stay warm at night.

You can also help them out by putting up a custom bird house. 

Click here for free chickadee bird house plans.


The black-capped chickadee
They like peanuts and
sunflower seeds

Where to place a Chickadee bird house:

  • The entrance hole for the bird house should be about 1 1/8 inch in diameter.
  • The hole should be located 6 to 8 inches above the floor of the bird house.
  • Hang the bird house 5 to 15 feet above the ground
  • The house should be in wooded cover and have natural perches around it.


More Facts:

  • Size: 4 3/4-5 3/4" (12-15 cm).
  • It has a black cap and throat, white cheeks, gray back, with dull white under parts.
  • Wing feathers are edged with white.
  • It likes wooded areas
  • It can be found throughout most of North America


More Pictures

NW Ohio Nature Oak Leaf