Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

Home > All About Maine > Wildlife > Black-capped Chickadee

Black-Capped Chickadee

Black-capped chickadee imageBlack-capped Chickadees eat a variety of foods including insect eggs, ants, beetles, aphids, millipedes, snails, and other small creatures. They also eat seeds of conifers, goldenrod, ragweed, and wild fruit. Black-capped Chickadees are not very picky at the feeder and will eat cornmeal, sunflower seeds, suet, pumpkin seeds, and peanut butter.

Black-capped Chickadees prefer to live in mixed hardwood-coniferous forests. They also reside in small woodlands and shrubs by residential areas. 

Both the male and female have similar plumage. Black-capped Chickadees have light gray backs and tails. They also have white bellies and cheeks. They got the name "Black-capped Chickadee" because they have some black feathers on their heads that look like a cap. Black-capped Chickadees also have some black feathers on their necks that look similar to a bib. In the winter, their sides are a deep brown. 

Black-capped Chickadees survive the freezing weather by storing food they can use later in the season. Black-capped Chickadees can remember where they stored seeds for up to eight months, which is more than enough time to get them through the winter. 

Black-capped Chickadees also survive the winter by lowering their body temperatures at night, entering a state of controlled hypothermia. In essence, they slow the blood flowing to the parts of their bodies they don't use while they are sleeping. This helps them save much-needed energy.