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Carolina chickadee

Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis)
Photo provided by SteveByland/

Features and Behaviors

An adult Carolina chickadee is four and one-fourth to four and three-fourths inches long. The male and female are similar in appearance. This bird has gray body feathers with black chest feathers. The bill is short and black. Its black head has white cheeks. There is no white patch on its gray wing, like there is in the larger black-capped chickadee that may be confused with this species.

The Carolina chickadee is a common, permanent resident in southern and east central Illinois. It lives in wooded areas, groves and willow thickets. This bird eats insects and spiders. It is very acrobatic and can hang upside down. The call is a high pitched, rapid "fee-bee, fee-bay." The nest is placed in a tree cavity, fence post or bluebird box. Six to eight white eggs with brown markings are laid.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paridae

Illinois Status: common, native