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Mountain Chickadee

Scientific name: Poecile gambeli

Common and widespread throughout much of the mountainous western U.S. and Canada where coniferous forests occur, the Mountain Chickadee sometimes wanders farther east into foothills and plains during the winter. These winter movements by Mountain Chickadees are usually related to a food shortage.

Mountain Chickadees consume many insects during the spring and summer. In fall and winter they eat conifer seeds, and are known to cache them for later consumption. Because the Mountain Chickadee is a cavity nester, nest parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird is very rare.

Photograph © Alan Wilson.