Chickadees are North American bird species that belong to the Poecile genus, Paridae family and Passeriformes order. Their name comes from the fact that they make “chick-a-dee-dee” calls. The species that are found in North America are called Chickadees and other species are called Tits. They live in coniferous and deciduous forests.
They have a grey appearance with black markings. Chestnut backed Chickadee has reddish brown markings. They live in the form of flocks. Their primary diet includes seeds, insects and berries. Some feeding behaviors include caching (storing food in twigs or services) and formation of bird guilds (foraging in flocks).
These birds form their nests in cavities with the help of moss and soft materials. They are monogamous and mate for life.
They have average size of about 2 inches to 3 inches, average weight of about 0.3 ounces to 0.4 ounces, average wingspan of about 6 inches to 8 inches or 15 centimeters to 20 centimeters. They exhibit a top speed of about 12 miles per hour.
Some of the predators of these birds include hawk, owls, shrikes, cats and snakes. They are listed as least concerned by the International Union for Conservation of Nature because they have a stable population. They can live up to 3 years.
Chickadees are monogamous and mate for life. The breeding season starts from April to June. They form their nests in cavities like tree holes and birdhouse. These holes should be 10 to 15 feet off the ground. The nests are formed with the help of rotten wood, moss and soft materials.
They don’t exhibit distinctive mating rituals but males chase other males to show interest towards females. After the formation of nests, females lay 6 to 8 eggs. The incubation period is about 12 days. During this period, the male performs the task of bringing food to the mother. After hatching, both the parents feed their young ones. The chicks become able to leave the nest after 16 days of hatching.
Chickadees are omnivores. Their primary diet includes insects, seeds and berries. They can also eat insect larvae and eggs during nesting season. The major portion (50 to 80%) of their diet is insect protein.
They perform caching i.e. storing food in twigs and services for later use usually after a month. Another feeding behavior is formation of bird guilds i.e. foraging in flocks. These birds get along with other species quite well because all of them hunt for food.
After the formation of the nest, females lay 6 to 8 eggs. The eggs are white coloured and speckled. They are incubated for about 12 days.
Some of the facts about Chickadees are as follows,
- Chickadees are found in North America.
- Chickadees are named because of the Chick-a-dee-dee-dee sound they make.
- The Chick-a-dee-dee sound is an alarm call. The number of dees depends upon the predator. The normal call is fee-bee.
- They are omnivores and can eat insects, seeds and berries.
- The most distinctive feature of these birds is cap of dark feathers on their head.
- Some other names of these birds are Tits and Titmous.
- They inhabit open woodlands.
- Their nesting site is a tree cavity.
- Their age of molting is 10 days.
- Some of the predators of these birds are hawks, cats and snakes.
- There are 43 million Chickadees in the world.
- Their average lifespan is 3 years.
After 16 days of hatching, these birds develop some feathers like their parents to fly and can leave the nests. Their flying ability increases with practice. They fly in up and down roll instead of a straight line. Their average wingspan is 6 inches to 8 inches or 15 centimeters to 20 centimeters.
Both the genders have almost the same appearance. They have grey, black and white coloured plumages. Females have comparatively smaller bibs as compared to males.
During the breeding season, the female begs for food while male feeds her. The female performs the task of the formation of a nest. Males exhibit “fee-bee” calls to protect their nesting territories.
These birds are found in North America. They prefer deciduous and coniferous forests. They can also live in parks and neighbourhoods. The Black capped Chickadees are found in the northern United States and Canada, Carolina Chickadees are found in southeastern United States, Boreal Chickadees are found in Canada, Mountain Chickadees are found in rocky mountains, Chestnut backed Chickadees are found in Pacific coast, Mexican Chickadees are found in New Mexico and Grey headed Chickadees are found in northern continents.
Chickadees are social birds. They are diurnal, sedentary, motile and territorial. They are also known as friendly and curious wild birds. They become aggressive when they sense some danger. They are well known for their Chick-a-dee-dee-dee sound they make when they sense any danger.
Chickadees are small sized North American bird species that inhabit open woodlands. They are named for Chick-a-dee-dee calls they make after sensing any danger. They can be easily recognized because of their black and white markings. They are well known for their friendly nature. Males and females are almost similar. However, several variations are present within different species of Chickadees.