About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Chickadees don’t leave home without their caps

I came across your site on the internet. Do you know if all species of chickadee's have a cap on their head?  Thanks, Rose

Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Yes caps are an essential part of the chickadee wardrobe. All chickadees are diminutive in size, ranging from 4.5 inches (Carolina Chickadees) to 5.5 inches (Boreal Chickadees). They all have a small, sharp beak, a dark crown and bib, whitish cheeks, gray or brownish back, and off-white belly with a variable amount of color on their flanks.

If you go to http://www.allaboutbirds.org, you can browse for birds by taxonomic order. Chickadees are Perching Birds (PASSERIFORMES) under Chickadees and Titmice (PARIDAE). In North America we have seven chickadees with brown or black caps.
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- Black-capped Chickadee, Poecile atricapillus
- Mountain Chickadee, Poecile gambeli
- Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Poecile rufescens
- Boreal Chickadee, Poecile hudsonicus
- Carolina Chickadee, Poecile carolinensis
- Grey-headed Chickadee, Poecile cinctus
- Mexican Chickadee, Poecile sclateri

Willow Tit
Scattered across Europe and Asia there are an additional 8 species of birds in the genus Poecile. They are called tits, the Old English name for the bird and they also all have the dark caps.
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- Sombre Tit, Poecile lugubris
- Caspian Tit, Poecile hyrcanus
- Marsh Tit, Poecile palustris
- Willow Tit, Poecile montanus
- Black-bibbed Tit, Poecile hypermelaenus
- Songar Tit, Poecile songarus
- White-browed Tit, Poecile superciliosus
- Père David's Tit, Poecile davidi

That was a lovely question.
Thanks so much for the reply!! I am a 3&4 grade teacher and that is a question that one of my students ask in class one day. : )

Related Articles:
- Where Do Birds Go At Night? http://goo.gl/bEl3h 
- Quiz on Chickadees http://goo.gl/0cI03 
- Bird Guilds: How different birds band together to survive http://goo.gl/jAtN5 
- Fun Facts about the different Chickadees in North America http://bit.ly/zIDkCi 
- Not a Shy Bird: How the Black-capped Chickadee Communicates http://goo.gl/1rlnh

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