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Last Updated: May 23rd, 2010 - 21:01:09


State Bird of Maine
Sep 7, 2006, 20:12 PST

Black-capped chickadee
Poecile atricapilla

Identification Tips:

  • Length: 4.5 inches
  • Short bill
  • Black crown and throat
  • White face
  • Pale gray upperparts
  • White edges to wing coverts
  • Grayish-white underparts
  • Rusty flanks
  • Sexes similar
  • Often found in small flocks

Similar species:

The Black-capped Chickadee is very similar to the Carolina Chickadee and where their ranges overlap they can be difficult to separate. In fact, they have trouble telling themselves apart and hybrids occur. The most obvious difference between them is their songs. Black-capped sings a two note song while Carolina sings a four note song. Hybrids sing a three note song. Outsided of the breeding season, when chickadees don't sing much, the Black-capped is slightly larger, has more white edging in the wing and has slower, lower-pitched calls. Boreal and Chestnut-backed Chickadees have more brown in their plumages than the Black-capped.

Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.
Source: USGS

Handheld Birds and Software at National Geographic

Learn more with the help of Google.

Keywords: state bird of Maine, Maine, Maine state bird, Black Capped Chickadee, Mexican chickadee, ClassBrain, state report, homework help,

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