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Mountain Chickadee - BirdForum Opus

Includes Gambel's Chickadee and Bailey’s Chickadee

Poecile gambeli
Photo © by Michael W
Spokane, Washington, 25 January 2004


Photo © by jvhigbee
Eatonville, Washington, USA, 23 February 2005

13-15 cm. White eyebrow, brown flanks.


From British Columbia south to the Mexican border; east to Colorado.


This is a polytypic species[1] consisting of 6 subspecies.


  • P. g. gambeli

Rocky Mountains (Montana to Wyoming, New Mexico and southwest Texas)

  • P. g. wasatchensis

Coniferous forests of southern Idaho and Utah

  • P. g. inyoensis

Great Basin (southeastern Oregon, southwestern Idaho to western Utah and east-central California)

  • P. g. abbreviatus

South Western Canada and coastal ranges of northern California

  • P. g. baileyae

Sierra Nevada of southern California

  • P. g. atratus

Mountains of northern Baja California

A study shows genetic divisions within this species possibly indicating a future split. Such a split has now been proposed, leading to:

The Opus is waiting for the position of the world wide checklists


Mountain forest.


Diet includes seeds and insects.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Paper describing genetic findings with this species
  3. Birdforum thread discussing proposal to split Mountain Chickadee and other splits

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.