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Chestnut-backed Chickadee - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 21:07, 15 July 2023 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (→‎External Links)
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Nominate subspecies
Photo © by janruss
Edmonds, Washington, USA, 17 January 2007
Poecile rufescens


Subspecies P. r. barlowi
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Pacifica, California, USA, 13 April 2020

(3.9-4.7 in) 11.5–12.5 cm

  • Chestnut back, sides, flanks, and rump
  • Pale grey white underparts
  • Dark blackish-brown cap
  • Black bib
  • White cheeks
  • White belly

Sexes and juveniles alike


Southern populations have reduced rufous color on their flanks.


Coastal pacific states from central California north to Alaska. Also found in Idaho and western Montana.


Subspecies P. r. barlowi in flight
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Pacifica, California, USA, 29 April 2020


This is a polytypic species consisting of three subspecies:

  • P. r. rufescens:
  • P. r. neglectus:
  • Coastal California (south-western Marin County)
  • P. r. barlowi:
  • Coastal southern California (San Francisco Bay to Santa Barbara Co.)


Found in coniferous forests, especially of Douglas fir, and mixed and deciduous woodlands. Visits backyard feeders.



It nests in cavities, using fur and hair from deer, rabbits or coyotes. The clutch consists of 5-8 eggs.


The diet includes insects, invertebrates, conifer seeds and fruit.


Like its close relative, the Boreal Chickadee, this species lacks a whistled song. Main call is a rapid-fire complex "chick-a-dee."


Mostly resident


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Wikipedia contributors. (2020, April 17). Chestnut-backed chickadee. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 08:09, April 22, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chestnut-backed_chickadee&oldid=951471721
  3. BirdForum Member observations
  4. Dahlsten, D. L., L. A. Brennan, D. A. McCallum, and S. L. Gaunt (2020). Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole and F. B. Gill, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.chbchi.01
  5. Gosler, A. & Clement, P. (2020). Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/59869 on 22 April 2020).

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1