Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee

A Carolina Chickadee is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Carolina Chickadees. We have also put together a list of fun Carolina Chickadee t-shirts, Carolina Chickadee bird patches, bird houses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers and other fun bird watching items.

About Carolina Chickadees

The curious and intelligent Carolina Chickadee is a small acrobatic bird that obtains larvae, small insects or small spiders from the tips of branches. It is a winter resident and has a variety of behavioral adaptations to help it cope with the cool temperatures and potential heat loss.

Description and Identification

Adult Carolina Chickadees are 4.5-5.1 inches long, weighing only 0.32-0.42 oz. These tiny birds
have short necks and large head. Their heads and bibs are black, while the sides of their faces
are white. They have white underparts, a black bill, a long tail, and short wings. These birds are
very similar in appearance to Black Chickadees, although they can be differentiated through their
slightly browner wings and brown greater coverts; their tails are also square-ended and shorter.
The only difference between males and females is that males are larger in size.

Only an experienced ear can differentiate between the calls from the Black-capped Chickadee and
the Carolina Chickadee. These birds have a famous call that goes chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee.
Carolina Chickadees have trouble differentiating themselves from Black-capped Chickadees, due
to which they end up mating and producing hybrids. The easiest way to tell these birds apart is by
observing their song; the hybrids sing three-note songs, the Black-capped Chickadees sing two-
note songs and the Carolina Chickadees sing four-note songs.

Carolina Chickadee Color Pattern

It is distinguished by a black cap and black beak, a shade of gray coats its wings and back followed by a white underside.

Carolina Chickadee Size

The Carolina Chickadee is a considerable small bird with the relative size of adults as:

  • Length 11.5-13 cm
  • Weight of 9-12g
  • Wing-span range 15-20 cm

It also has a forked tail with pointed wings with a short weak fluttering flight with rapid beats.

Chickadee at Bird Feeder

Carolina Chickadee Behavior

The Chickadee is a social bird which travels in flocks where all flock members have a rank and at the end of winter, the top-ranking pair nest within the flock’s territory but the lower ranked birds travel further to claim another territory and do not mate for that season.

Females sleep in a cavity in the tree while the male Chickadees sleep in a nearby sheltered branch. Carolina Chickadee sleeps individually, but once in a while, they may sleep in the same cavity.

What Carolina Chickadee Eat

The main diet of Carolina Chickadees is arthropods and insects, but they might also eat berries
and seeds if needed. In winters, they can be spotted visiting bird feeders. These birds hop from
branch to branch to search for insects, sometimes also flying small distances to catch them. They
are also known to be acrobatic enough to hang upside down from branches to forage for insects.
To ensure a good supply of food during winter, Carolina Chickadees move in mixed flocks which
help each other in locating sources of food.

The chickadee diet is mostly made up of about half plant and half animal during the winter. For the rest of the year, they feed on insects and spiders mostly. They keep seeds and insects in their feet and press them against the branch as he hangs upside down.

Where do Carolina Chickdee Live

The common breeding habitats for Carolina Chickadees are mixed coniferous-deciduous forests,
deciduous woodlands, coastal areas, open fields and woods, and sometimes even urban areas.
These birds can also be found inhabiting higher elevations such as Appalachian mountain regions
if Black-capped Chickadees are not present. Carolina Chickadees usually reside in areas with an
elevation of 0.5-1.2 miles.

The Chickadee is mostly found in swamps, coastal areas, open woodlands, urban parks and if you are keen you can spot them in suburban and urban areas.

Range and Migration

Carolina Chickadees are small approachable birds that are native to Southeast America. Alabama,
Georgia, South Carolina, North Florida, North Carolina are some of the states in which these birds
are commonly found. These birds are non-migratory in nature who don’t submit to moving south
even in severely cold winters.

Carolina Chickadee Lifecycle

Incubation for the female Chickadee is probably 11-13 days and when disturbed it produces a hissing sound like that of a snake and it takes 13-17 days for the young ones to leave the nest after hatching.

Carolina Chickadee Nesting

Most Carolina Chickadees are monogamous, but some might change their mate every year. These
birds begin to form pairs during winter. During this period, males begin to get aggressive towards
the rest of the flock, becoming protective of their female interests. When the flocks disperse at the
end of winter, the pairs build nests together. Both members of the pair locate a cavity in trees or
excavate one in the absence of previous cavities. The females build their nests with moss and
strips of bark. After laying 3-10 eggs, they undergo an incubation period of 12-15 days. If both
members of the pair survive the breeding period, they almost always breed together in the
following year.


Carolina Chickadee Bird Girl Video

Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes

At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.

  • Kids Bird Watching Monthly Subscription

    $20.00 / month
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  • Kid & Adult Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription

    $20.00 / month and a $72.00 sign-up fee
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  • Kids Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription

    $20.00 / month and a $19.00 sign-up fee
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Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Carolina Chickadees

The most common types of bird watching binoculars for viewing Carolina Chickadees are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.

  • Birding Binoculars

    Birding Binoculars

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  • Kids Binocular 8x21

    Kids Binoculars

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Carolina Chickadee T-shirts

If you love the Carolina Chickadee you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.

Carolina Chickadees Iron On Patches

Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron on patches. Our bird watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen an identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.

The Carolina Chickadee is a great iron on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.

  • Carolina Chickadee iron on patches

    Carolina Chickadee Iron on Patches

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  • Bird Banner with iron on patches

    Bird Banner

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Carolina Chickadee Stickers

Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Carolina Chickadee. Here is the monthly sticker packs we sell with a Carolina Chickadee sticker.

Best Bird Houses for Carolina Chickadees

These are the best bird Houses for Carolina Chickadees. They are fun and easy for kids.

Bird Feeders For Carolina Chickadees

There are many types of bird feeders for Carolina Chickadees. Here are some of our favorites.

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