Poecile gambeli
(Mountain Chickadee)

Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Paridae
Family Description: Chickadees and Titmice

Physical Description:
5-5 3/4" (13-15 cm). Black crownClick word for definition, white eyebrow, black eye- stripe, white cheeks and napeClick word for definition, and black throat. Gray above and whitish below.

Similar Species- Other chickadees, Bridled Titmouse

A clear, whistled fee-bee-bee; and a husky chick-a zhee-zhee.

Resident in mountains from southeastern Alaska, British Columbia, and southwestern Alberta, south to northern Baja California, central and southeastern Arizona, southeastern and central New Mexico, and southwestern Texas.

During breeding season, found in montane coniferousClick word for definition forests (especially pine, spruce/fir, and pinyon/juniper). During winter, found at lower elevations in mixed (pine/oak) and riparian woodlands. Pacific Northwest study indicated species is habitat generalist, found in structurally variable montane forests.

Feeds on a variety of insect food.

Nests in natural or excavated cavity in standing snag or tree. Forages in foliage. Forms mixed-species flocksClick word for definition in winter. Mean territory size has been estimated at 1.5 ha. Breeding density has been reported as 71.5 breeding pairs/100 ha in White Mountains in Arizona, less than 10 breeding pairs/40 ha in northern Arizona, and up to 11 pairs/40 ha in thinned forest with added nest boxes. Territory size in southwestern Alberta averaged about 6-7 ha, and overlapped with territories of Black-capped Chickadee.

clutchClick word for definition size is usually 6-12 eggs. Incubation lasts 14 days. Young are tended by both parents, and leave nest in about 20 days. Female possibly produces 2 broodsClick word for definition annually.

Element Code: ABPAW01040
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Important State References:
Langelier, L. 1983. Habitat selection of common breeding bird species in western spruce budworm outbreaks. M.S. Thesis, Univ. Idaho, Moscow. 199pp.

Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Photo by Marcus Martin, ©1999.
Song recorded by C. S. Robbins. ©1999.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.