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The Carolina Chickadee - A True Audubon Bird

Article and photos by Charly Mann

The Carolina Chickadee was actually named by James Audubon (1785-1851) the United States most important wildlife artist.

Carolina Chickadee Close-up
Carolina Chickadee close-up showing his acrobatic skill

The Carolina Chickadee has a black cap, throat, and back, with gray wings and a white underside. They are a very small bird, only 5 inches long.

Carolina Chickadees build their nests in trees. They actually can dig out holes in trees that have a soft area weakened by termites or a fungus, but usually choose an abandoned woodpecker hole or a natural cavity in a tree.

Carolina Chickadee singing
Carolina Chickadee at the break of dawn near the Prairie National Wild Horse Refuge just West of Bartlesville 

Some Carolina Chickadees have lived more than 10 years.

Chickadees are great acrobats and can eat upside down. They primarily feed on insects and seeds, and are hunted by hawks and owls.

New-Born Carolina Chickadee
New-born Chickadee learning to walk across a narrow branch

Chickadees are very territorial birds, and there are three separate small groups of trees in northeast Oklahoma where I find these creatures almost every month of the year.

Carolina Chickadee profile
My little Carolina Chickadee

The most famous expression of the comedian W.C. Fields was "my little chickadee," which was also the title of the movie he starred in with Mae West in 1940. Mae West wrote the script for the movie, so should be credited with creating the expression.



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Molly      2:23 AM Sun 6/19/2016

I have several chickadees who love to eat from my feeder which is quite close to my back deck. They are my most frequent guests.

I also have cardinals, robins and mourning doves. Such a joy.

Pelle      2:50 AM Sat 12/26/2015

Those are great shots! And I agree, out of all the kinds of pictures you can take with a cmaera, birds in flight have got to be the hardest of them all to capture. Especially chickadees, as you mentioned, and the like, and sparrows. Birds are a beautiful part of nature and I deeply respect any photographer who can take pictures of birds flying like that. Keep up the good work! http://cnlmggccm.com [url=http://nkcatolu.com]nkcatolu[/url] [link=http://qfyzsjiygd.com]qfyzsjiygd[/link]

Albertpbl      1:18 PM Thu 12/24/2015

>I just adore the chickadee and I love the story,Dee! They are the sweseett little birds. I like the steel wire too, it looks great! Love that Robin in Winter Snow painting yum well, I love all your pieces!!!!!!

Iker      4:57 PM Mon 10/12/2015

I was able to hand feed a chickadee this fall. What an aiznmag experience. I was working on my front deck and happened to be refilling my feeder at the time. I sat next to the feeder and the chickadee came to eat. It didn't seem nervous so I figured to get some seed and just put it in my hand. After a few minutes it finally landed! and ate! I have a picture and would love to be able to share it! I was so happy to have had my camera (while photographing the deck project) or it would have just been a story. Please let me know how and if I can share my photo. Thanks Jenna

Radha      1:17 PM Sun 9/1/2013

I have several bird feeders ,and I used to have a lot of Chicadees come to my feeders,but this year I have not seen even one I don't know if I am doing something wrong ,or is there a reason why they are not coming.
Thanks,let me know if you have an answer

Moh      12:14 PM Fri 7/26/2013

Cool update! Mama Chickadee is so brave to sit tight on the nest. I had the same thing <a href="http://kqtwusjslf.com">hapepn</a> last year. She just looked at me. Sweet birds!BTW .The Carolina Chickadee nestlings are doing well. I think they are close to fledging.

Sandro      12:26 AM Mon 7/23/2012

In posting this and reiandg the comments it made me wonder where the chickadees call home. I found that there are two different species. The one around here is called, surprise of surprises, the Carolina Chickadee. It's territory is the Southern to Southwestern US, excluding southern Florida. The second is the Black-capped Chickadee. They are found in most of the rest of the US and parts of Canada, excluding the most southern/western part of the US.Jayne, according to the map, I don't think there are any in CA., but their habitat line is the border of CA and Oregon.Nicky- There are black caps in Canada, but I can't tell from the map if they are in your area.Talon- Thank you. I wish I had the experience of feeding them by hand. It is cool to watch them crack the sunflower seeds.Meleah- You should have black caps in your area. Maybe now you will see some. Sometimes it works that way. You hear of something, and then lo and behold there it is. I hope you do - they are so sweet. They love sunflower seeds if you want to try and attract some.

Charly Mann      7:55 PM Tue 7/27/2010

Hello Lisa - I have been up close to several nests of newborn Carolina Chickadees, and they have always had black on their heads - so once they are out of the nest learning to fly they should definitely have black on their heads. Do you have a photo?


lisa      7:25 PM Tue 7/27/2010

I am watching this little Chickadee feeding, what appears to me, a "baby". But I don't know if this is a baby chickadee or not. The baby doesn't have any black on it and it is bigger than the chickadee.

Also this baby is constantly fluttering his wings, very rapidly, so it looks like it vibrating.

Is this a baby chickadee?

Thanks for your help!

Lisa Wood

Uplifting Visions
a guide to happiness, good health, and success
Charly Mann in a Hawaiian shirt
by Charly Mann

From the age of seven I have been enchanted with the idea of living happily ever after, and have made it a life quest to find that answer. I have spoken to hundreds of people – usually older and wiser than me, and read countless books and articles on the subject. In my website Uplifting Visions I share what I consider the best insights I have learned about achieving happiness in life.

Oklahoma Birds Listed by Color

House Finch - male (carpodacus mexicanus)
Purple Finch - male (carpodacus purpureus)
Northern Cardinal - male (cardinalis cardinalis)
Painted Bunting - male (passerina ciris)
Summer Tanager - male (piranga rubra)

Baltimore Oriole - male (icterus galbula)
Orchard Oriole - male (icterus spurius)

Yellow Warbler (dendroica petechia )
Baltimore Oriole - female (icterus galbula)
Orchard Oriole - female (icterus spurius)
Summer Tanager - female (piranga rubra)
Yellow Goldfinch - male (carduelis tristis)
Western Kingbird (tyrannus verticalis)
Eastern Meadowlark (sturnella magna)

Malard - male (anas platyrhynchos)
Dark-eyed Junco - female (junco hyemalis)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (archilochus colubris)
Painted Bunting - female (passerina ciris)
Green Heron (butorides virescens)

Barn Swallow (hirundo rustica)
Belted Kingfisher (ceryle alcyon)
Blue Jay (cyanocitta cristata)
Blue Grosbeak - male (guiraca caerulea)
Eastern Bluebird (sailia sialis)
Indigo Bunting - male (passerina cyanea)
Purple Martin - male (progne subis)

Great Blue Heron (ardea herodias)
Carolina Chickadee (poecile carolinensis)
Eastern Screech-Owl (otus asio)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (sitta canadensis)
Grey Catbird (dumetella carolinensis)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (regulus calendula)
Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher (tyrannus forficatus)
White-breasted Nuthatch (sitta carolinensis)
Tufted Titmouse (baelophus bicolor)
American Robin (turdus migratorius)
Northern Mockingbird (mimus polyglottos)
Mississippi Kite (ictinia mississippiensis)
Dickcissel (spiza americana)

American Crow (corvus brachyrhynchos)
Brown-headed Cowbird - male (molothrus ater)
European Starling (sturnus vulgaris)
Common Grackle (quiscalus quiscula)
Red-winged Blackbird - male (agelaius phoeniceus)
Spotted Towhee (pipilo maculatus)
Turkey Vulture (cathartes aura)

Black & White
American Bald Eagle (haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Black-billed Magpie (pica hudsonia)
Downey Woodpecker (picoides pubescens)
Red-Bellied Woodpecker (melanerpes carolinus)
Purple Martin - female (progne subis)
Eastern Kingbird (tyrannus tyrannus)
Dark-eyed Junco - male (junco hyemalis)
Loggerhead Shrike (lanius ludovicianus)

American Kestrel (falco sparverius)
Blue Grosbeak - female (guiraca caerulea)
Brown-headed Cowbird - female (molothrus ater)
Brown Thrasher (toxostoma rufum)
Common Nighthawk (chordeiles minor)
Carolina Wren (thryothorus ludovicianus)
Cedar Waxwing (bombycilla cedrorum)
Greater Roadrunner (geococcyx californianus)
Killdeer (charadrius vociferus)
Northern Bobwhite (colinus virginianus)
Red-tailed Hawk (buteo jamaicensis)
Cliff Swallow (petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Horned Lark (eremophila alpestris)
House Finch - female (carpodacus mexicanus)
Northern Flicker (colaptes auratus)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (coccyzus americanus)
Mourning Dove (zenaida macroura)
Malard - female (anas platyrhynchos)
Purple Finch - female (carpodacus purpureus)
House Sparrow (passer domesticus)
Indigo Bunting - female (passerina cyanea)
Red-winged Blackbird - female (agelaius phoeniceus)
Spotted Sandpiper (actitis macularia)
Upland Sandpiper (bartramia longicauda)
Northern Cardinal - female (cardinalis cardinalis)
Eastern Screech-Owl (otus asio)
Yellow Goldfinch - female (carduelis tristis)
Canada Goose (branta canadensis)

Wild Birds of Northeast OK

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