Black-capped Chickadees are cavity nesters, using an existing cavity or often
excavating their own cavity in rotten wood. From 6 to 8 eggs, incubated by the female,
hatch in about two weeks. Young, tended by both parents, leave the nest in about 16 days.
The fledglings stay with the parents for up to a month before launching out on their own.
The Bird Banding Lab web site reports that between 1955 and 1997, a total of 497,620 Black-capped chickadees were banded. Of
these, 14,724 have been recovered, a relatively good recovery rate of 2.96 %.
Banding studies show that the Black-capped Chickadee can live up to 12 years in the wild.
They are resident birds.
If you should recover a banded bird, please report the band number to the Bird Banding
Lab by calling 1-800-327-BAND.
Conservation Status & Economic Importance
Population data indicates that Black-capped Chickadees are doing well. These birds
provide a beneficial service by foraging over twigs and branches and bark for their
favorite foods of caterpillars, insect eggs, scale insects, aphids, and other insect
pests. Their diet also consists of snails, seeds and fruit. Seeds are often stored for
Harrap, S., and D. Quinn. 1995. Chickadees, tits, nuthatches and treecreepers.
Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 464 Pp.
Kaufman, K. 1990. A field guide to advanced birding. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. 299
Pyle, P. 1997. Identification guide to North American Birds. Part 1. Slate Creek Press,
Bolinas, CA. 732 Pp.
Smith, S. 1991. The Black-capped chickadee. Behavioral ecology and natural history.
Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY. 362 Pp.
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