Mexican ChickadeePoecile sclateri

adult
Bob Steele/VIREO
adult
Martin Meyers/VIREO
Mexican Chickadee

Description

5" (13 cm). A gray chickadee, with black cap, black bib extending onto upper breast, and gray flanks.

Voice

A husky chick-a-dee-dee-dee, huskier and lazier than that of the Mountain Chickadee.

Listen

calls #2
calls #3
calls #4
calls #1

Habitat

Coniferous or pine-oak forests at high altitudes.

Range

Resident in extreme southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Also in Mexico.

Discussion

This bird feeds along the outer tree canopy, often hanging upside down to pluck small insects from conifer needles. Like other chickadees, it has an ingenious arrangement of leg tendons that enables it to pull close to a branch while upside down. Vireos, warblers, and kinglets must hover above branches, and are unable to reach the undersides, so the chickadees can exploit this feeding opportunity without competition.

Nesting

5-8 whitish eggs, frequently with reddish-brown spotting, in a fiber nest lined with grass, feathers, or fur placed in an excavated hole in a dead branch.

Similar Species

adult

Bridled Titmouse

4 1/2 -5" (11-13 cm). Warbler-sized. Gray above, whitish below, with gray crest bordered with black and a "bridle" joining eye line and throat patch.

adult, Eastern

Black-capped Chickadee

4 3/4-5 3/4" (12-15 cm). Black cap and throat, white cheeks, gray back, dull white underparts. Wing feathers narrowly and indistinctly edged with white. Difficult to separate from Carolina Chickadee.

adult, fresh plumage

Mountain Chickadee

5-5 3/4" (13-15 cm). Similar to Black-capped Chickadee, but with white eyebrow and pale gray flanks.

adult

Boreal Chickadee

5-5 1/2" (13-14 cm). Similar to Black-capped Chickadee, but crown and back brown, flanks rufous.

adult

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

4 1/2 -5" (11-13 cm). Dusky, black-capped, and black-bibbed chickadee, with chestnut flanks and back.

Vireo

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