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Mountain Chickadee

ID Info
Silhouette ChickadeesChickadees
Mountain ChickadeePoecile gambeli
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Paridae

Basic Description

The tiny Mountain Chickadee is a busy presence overhead in the dry evergreen forests of the mountainous West. Often the nucleus in mixed flocks of small birds, Mountain Chickadees flit through high branches, hang upside down to pluck insects or seeds from cones, and give their scolding chick-a-dee call seemingly to anyone who will listen.

More ID Info
image of range map for Mountain Chickadee
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Turn onto a Forest Service road and take it up into the mountains to your favorite trailhead. Within a few minutes of getting out of your car, you'll likely run into a flock of small birds flitting through the treetop. Mountain Chickadees are likely to be among them.

Other Names

  • Carbonero Montañés (Spanish)
  • Mésange de Gambel (French)

Backyard Tips

Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about nest boxes on our Attract Birds pages. You'll find plans for building a nest box of the appropriate size on our All About Birdhouses site.

Mountain Chickadees eagerly come to feeders. Like many feeder birds, they will often disregard millet in bird seed mixes. Feed them black oil sunflower seeds instead. In winter, they’ll also eat suet and peanut butter. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

See the Project FeederWatch guidelines for feeding birds in your yard and more tips on backyard birds.

  • Cool Facts