Male and Female: Identical with a grayish olive back, black cap and throat patch, white chest, and tan belly. Small white wing marks.
Excavates nest hole in rotted wood or uses birdhouse or natural cavity. Both male and female build or excavate, making nest with green moss and lines it with animal fur. One brood per year, 5-7 eggs white with fine red- brown speckles.
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Very common at bird feeders, where it favors black oil sunflower seed. Also will visit suet feeders. Very acrobatic when foraging in trees for insects, seeds and berries, seen swinging upside down on the tips of twigs. With it's inquisitive nature, often the first bird to a new feeder.
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A year-round resident in a variety of wooded habitats. Forms winter flocks of 6-10 birds with a fixed dominance hierarchy and defends a winter territory of about 20 acres. In spring, males sing, flock breaks up, and pairs breed. Easily attracted to a simple nest box
OTHER INTERESTING FACTS:
Comes to feeders for one seed at a time, flies away to eat it, and returns for another. Often can be seen "weighing" a seed, dropping it if it feels too light weight and choosing another.
Similar to Mountain and Chestnut-backed Chickadees. Mountain Chickadee has white eyebrows, and the Chestnut-backed Chickadee has a distinctive chestnut-colored body.
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