Chickadees in the Wildlife Garden

If you Build it, they will come

It makes me so happy to walk through my garden right now, because the Carolina Chickadees have hatched. I could sit by this nest box for hours listening to the happy cheeping sounds coming from hungry baby Chickadees inside the box. Mom and Dad work diligently from dawn to dusk on a constant mission to feed their hungry offspring.

With 7 species of Chickadees native to the US, you should be able to easily attract them to your wildlife garden no matter where you live.

  1. Here in my Philadelphia garden I’ve got Carolina Chickadees (Poecile carolinensis), which range from southern Pennsylvania south to Florida and west to Oklahoma and Texas.
  2. Just to the north you’d find the Black-capped Chickadee(Poecile atricapillus), which is the most widespread species of the bunch, ranging from Atlantic Canada south to Pennsylvania and down into Appalachia, and west to Alaska and south to Oregon.
  3. The Mountain Chickadee (Poecile gambeli) ranges from British Columbia south to west Texas and west to inland California, Oregon and Washington.
  4. Chestnut-backed Chickadees (Poecile rufescens) range along the West Coast from Alaska to Northern California.
  5. Mexican Chickadees (Poecile sclateri) can only be found in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona and the Animas Mountains of New Mexico.
  6. The Gray-headed Chickadee (Poecile cincta) is only found in the far north of Alaska and northwestern Canada.
  7. Boreal Chickadees (Poecile hudsonica) are specialists of the far-northern or high-altitude boreal spruce-fir forest. They use both young and mature forests, from Eastern Canada to Maine and west through Canada to Alaska.

Chickadees are extremely friendly. When we first moved in to this house, a pair of Chickadees would perch on a wooden post in the garden every time we went outside. They would sing and chatter incessantly as if to say, “this would be a really good place to hang a feeder.”

Needless to say, we did just that. And a nest box just for them. What a joy to be rewarded for our small offerings by baby Chickadees later that season. And they’ve nested in the garden every year since.

Most Chickadees do not migrate, so you want to plan for their needs for the breeding season as well as winter.

Water is one of the main elements for attracting Chickadees to your wildlife habitat garden. As you can see in the photo above, they are very creative in how they obtain water. This one learned to drink from the antwell in my hummingbird feeder. Water in winter is especially important.

Chickadees are generalist feeders, eating insects, seeds, berries,fruits, and nuts. And we gardeners owe a debt of gratitude to these common birds who feast on insects that target trees, from ants and aphids, to beetles, caterpillars, and moths.

Small native trees and shrubs, especially those that also produce seeds, nuts, or fruits are great for attracting Chickadees to your garden, as are sunflowers, both annual and perennial and coneflowers.

Please check out The Ultimate Guide to Birdscaping Your Garden for a treasure trove of information to make your wildlife garden a haven for birds.

Which Chickadees species do you see in your garden? What plants do you most often see the Chickadees eating from?

© 2010 – 2013, Carole Sevilla Brown. All rights reserved. This article is the property of EcosystemGardening.com If you are reading this at another site, please report that to us

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Join the Wren Song Community

Wren Winter Singing crop

Free Exclusive Content and Member's Forum

Sign up for a free membership in the Wren Song Community and you'll have access to a lot more valuable information published exclusively for our members.

Meet other passionate wildlife gardeners from around the country. Share your successes. Learn from your failures. Discover the best resources to help you create welcoming habitat for wildlife in your gardens with native plants so that you will attract more birds, butterflies, native pollinators, and other wildlife to your garden.

Learn more about the Wren Song Community

Comments

  1. says

    I love Carolina chickadees! We had some fledge in the backyard–I’m not sure where they were nesting, maybe one of the old woodpecker snags, but watching two young chickadees who were not very good at using their wings yet was painfully adorable. “Aaaaah! If I flap really really hard I won’t fall!” There was much flapping and panicking and clutching at twigs. Their parents were very tolerant of the whole affair, and they got the hang of it awfully quickly.

  2. says

    HiCarole, lovely post. We love the Chickadees in our garden. At this time of year, the garden is bursting with bird song and so many birds it’s a joy to just sit in the garden and be entertained by the Woodpeckers and Blackbirds, the Chickadees and the Quails to mention but a few.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Carole Brown says

    Ursula and Marghanita, thanks so much for sharing your Chickadee passion. I could watch them all day.

    David, that camera is amazing! Thanks for sharing.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I began to wonder what do Chickadees eat when no one hangs a feeder for them? And this friendly little bird changed the course of my life as I have now made a career out of […]

  2. […] 165. Chickadees in the Wildlife Garden–It makes me so happy to walk through my garden right now, because the Carolina Chickadees have hatched. I could sit by this nest box for hours listening to the happy cheeping sounds coming from hungry baby Chickadees inside the box. Mom and Dad work diligently from dawn to dusk on a constant mission to feed their hungry offspring. With 7 species of Chickadees native to the US, you should be able to easily attract them to your wildlife garden no matter where you live… Carole Sevilla Brown […]

  3. […] Chickadees are cachers, (and apparently have an extraordinary memory for their sites!) but they stash single seeds or insects, not little pockets of a dozen seeds. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge