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Carolina Chickadee - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Bill Garber
Richmond, Indiana, December 2006
Poecile carolinensis


Photo © by mali
Reading, Pennsylvania, USA, June 2018

Length 11·5–13 cm (4½-5 in)

  • Small and plump
  • Small black bill
  • Black cap
  • Black bib
  • White cheeks
  • Gray upperparts
  • White belly
  • Grayish-brown flanks
  • Grayish-white underparts
  • Gray legs and feet

Similar Species

Very similar to Black-capped Chickadee. Can be separated by voice but some individuals can learn the wrong song. These two hybridize in a narrow zone of contact.


Photo © by the late Donny Taylor
Wayne County, North Carolina, February 2011

Southeastern quarter of the United States.


Photo © by STM
Pawleys Island, South Carolina, USA, 22 March 2021


This is a polytypic species consisting of four subspecies[1]:

  • P. c. atricapilloides:
  • P. c. agilis:
  • P. c. extimus:
  • P. c. carolinensis:

An additional subspecies impiger is generally considered invalid[2].


Open deciduous and mixed forests, woodland clearings and edges and suburban backyards.



The diet includes spiders, insects, seeds, and fruits.


It nests in holes lined with moss and fur. The clutch consists of 3-10 eggs.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Lepage D. (2021) [Avibase - https://avibase.ca/F941AAD3 ]. Retrieved 23 March 2021
  3. All About Birds
  4. Birdforum Member observations
  5. Sibley on identification of the Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.