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Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Poecile rufescens ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: PARIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Chestnut-backed Chickadee Photo

A handsome chickadee that matches the rich brown bark of the coastal trees it lives among, the Chestnut-backed Chickadee is the species to look for up and down the West Coast and in the Pacific Northwest. Active, sociable, and noisy as any chickadee, you’ll find these birds at the heart of foraging flocks moving through tall conifers with titmice, nuthatches, and sometimes other chickadee species. Though they’re at home in dark, wet woods, they’ve also readily taken to suburbs and ornamental shrubs of cities like San Francisco.

Birds of North America Online
Be a Better Birder Tutorial 3
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Backyard Tips

Set up bird feeders in your backyard with black oil sunflower seed, suet or other mixed seeds. If Chestnut-backed Chickadees inhabit your area, setting up nest boxes might entice them to nest on your property.

Find This Bird

Look for Chestnut-backed Chickadees high in the branches of coastal conifers, or lower down in shrubs around yards and park borders. When searching for Chestnut-backed Chickadees in winter, listen for its conspicuous chick-a-dee and other call notes, a great way to find this bird and the several other species that habitually forage with them.

Get Involved

Keep track of Chestnut-backed Chickadees at your feeder with Project FeederWatch

Use our nest-box plans and tips to attract nesting chickadees. Report information about nesting activity to NestWatch.

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Explore audio recordings of Chestnut-backed Chickadees from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Macaulay Library archive

Find in-depth information on Chestnut-backed Chickadees and other hundreds of other birds for as little as $5 in The Birds of North America Online from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and American Ornithologists' Union.