Carolina Chickadee is a small passerine type bird measuring 11.5–13 cm (4.33–5.5 in) in length, and weighing just 10–13 g (0.35–0.45 oz). These birds belong to the tit family Paridae.
Carolina Chickadees have a black cap and bib with some white on both sides of the face. Their underparts are white with a brownish-orange color on the edges, and their back is a stone-gray color.
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Identify Where You Live
In North Carolina, Carolina Chickadees can be found anywhere in the eastern half of the state. This species is mostly a wood-land bird, however, they can be found in suburban and urban environments, as well as rural areas.
So you have no reason to feel guilty if you find a Carolina Chickadee. These small birds can actually be found in almost any type of habitat in the state.
If you live near a wood-land, you should take the bird as it will be most active in the early morning and evening hours, and late afternoon. Carolina Chickadees usually feed on insects or nectar.
What To Do With Your Chickadee Catching a Carolina Chickadee is not hard. It is one of the easiest birds to catch. But you will need to be careful and move slowly. They tend to fly off if they sense you coming near them.
Research What They Eat
Carolina Chickadees mainly eat seeds, berries and insects. Their diet includes grasses, fruit, seeds, nuts, and insects. Flight Behavior and Mating Behavior They sing at dawn and dusk, and their songs include two-note duets.
They can easily be confused with the Eastern Meadowlark. Male Carolina Chickadees will look at a female chickadee from a distance and his tail feathers will flare in display of dominance.
It is the start of the courtship for the male. When they pair up, they can produce small sonorous trumpeting calls, and will perch with their wings spread.
Provide a Suitable Nesting Site
With a strong breeding population, the Carolina Chickadee needs to nest in places that provide plenty of cover from predators, as well as sunlit areas. The best places to set up your birdhouse for a chickadee nest are in a well-drained, moderate sized tree, and have some horizontal space for your Carolina Chickadee to find shelter.
Carolina Chickadees don’t make use of nests boxes because the nest they choose is usually placed deep within the tree. It is common to hear chickadees making the call “kee kie” when the bird is at the nest to signal for help and remind the other birds that it is there.
You can provide a Carolina Chickadee with a nesting site with a hanging basket, a birdhouse or a nest box made out of wood.
Chickadees consume insects, seeds, nuts and fruit. Carolina Chickadee is an omnivorous species that feeds on seeds, berries, insects, fruits, nectar and occasionally small vertebrates. They are found in forests in the Southern Appalachians in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, a breeding range that spans along the Eastern Seaboard.
Feeding habitats include old or dead trees, low vegetation, decayed timber, and treetops. Where To Catch Chickadee Frequently in need of food and water, they may be seen flying overhead in flocks.
Swinging low to the ground, they can be found in old-growth and mature hardwood forest. They are commonly seen in urban environments. There are also several feeding areas for Carolina Chickadee. Perhaps the best is an old stump with plenty of insects.
Provide a Good Viewing Opportunity
Carolina Chickadees like to perch on small branches, especially those of willows, cottonwoods, or elms, or on the bare ends of conifer trunks, etc. You can find them along tall tree branches or stumps, and along the tops of tall shrubbery. They also like to visit the middle of long leaf pines, especially the tufted pines, and to roost in tall trees.
When they do roost, they always choose a thickly layered tree trunk, which offers good protection from the wind. Make Birdsong Easier If you are near the edge of a forest or are visiting the Atlantic Forest, you may want to spend some time near a sugar maple or a walnut tree.
Chickadees like to sit on these trees, either on their branches, or hanging upside down on the lower branches. Chickadees are attracted to male and female songs.
Don’t Scare Them
Chickadees are shy and normally very cautious and rarely approach people. Chickadees are totally harmless and can fly away very easily. This species will avoid contact with humans as much as possible unless you are trying to attract them.
In case you accidentally do so, keep your distance and keep your pets indoors, or remove any food sources that will attract them. Most chickadees build their nests on tall trees near open ground, or occasionally in a hollowed tree trunk.
If you are unable to locate a chickadee’s nest, it is safe to say that they are not nesting and are not interested in your property. Chickadees prefer to nest in large hollow trees with lots of shelter, as they are primarily nocturnal and can get quite cold in winter.
Provide a Nectar Source
A Carolina chickadee tends to prefer a bird feeder to a feeder that is filled with sunflower seeds. However, they will occasionally accept a nectar feeder as well.
Always include some water on the feeder, as chickadees may dry out if there is not a source of water. When these birds become accustomed to nectar, they will start to seek out your feeder on a daily basis.
Show Them You Care
Feed them but don’t go overboard with bird seed. They don’t need a lot to get by. If you feel like you can’t stop feeding them, keep a bird seed can with nuggets or smaller bird food for them. You can also leave out cracked corn with the tops cut off.
Chickadees tend to prefer these sorts of seeds. They need more of a meal. Feed them suet or a dried mixture of sunflower seeds, chopped peanuts, peanut butter, or black oil sunflower seeds. If they are going to thrive, they need high protein.
Feeding them crumbled peanut butter is often recommended. If you’re going to make a change to feed them, get a small dog food container and take some of the extras you’d usually feed them, and put it in there for your little guests.