Chestnut-backed Chickadee - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Chestnut-backed Chickadee - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Chestnut-backed Chickadee - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Chestnut-backed Chickadee - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Poecile refescens

Chickadees, Nuthatches and Creepers
Chickadee Family (Paridae)

Size: Length: 11.5 cm (4.5 in)

Description: The chestnut-backed chickadee has a black crown and throat, separated by a large white cheek patch. The back, rump and sides are chestnut or brown. The winds and tail are dark, almost black.

Similar Species: Mountain visitors need to be able to distinguish 4 different chickadees. The chestnut-backed chickadee has a black cap and a brown to chestnut coloured back and sides. The black-capped chickadee also has a black-cap, but its back is gray. The mountain chickadee has a prominent white eyebrow line separating the black cap. The boreal chickadee trades in its black-cap for a brown one.

Range: This is a western bird, usually found west of the continental divide. In the Rockies, it is an occasional visitor to Glacier (Montana) and Waterton National Parks.

Habitat: Look for the chestnut-backed chickadee in western slope coniferous forests, although it can occasionally be spotted in mixed wood stands as well.

Diet: They feed on insects, spiders and some conifer seeds.

Nesting: They nest in cavities which may be excavated by the birds themselves. They build a cup-like nest, into which the female lays 6-7 (up to 9) white, lightly speckled, eggs. Incubation is by the female, lasting approximately 15 days, after which the altricial and downy hatchlings emerge. They will be tended by both parents until they leave the nest after approximately 3 weeks.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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