Mountain Chickadee

The Mountain Chickadee, Parus gambeli or Poecile gambeli, is a small songbird, a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. Common inhabitants of the mountainous regions of the western United States, their range extends from the southern Yukon to California and western Texas. Although primarily nonmigratory, in the fall and winter Mountain Chickadees may extend their range into the lowlands typically inhabited by the similar Black-capped Chickadee.

Adults of both sexes have a black cap joining a black eye stripe behind unique white eyebrows. Their backs and flanks are gray and they have paler gray underparts. They have a short black bill, and a black bib. The typical adult wingspan is 7.5 inches, and their overall length is 5.5 inches.

Mountain Chickadees breed with only one mate in their life cycle, producing 1 to 2 broods per year. Incubation by the female is 14 days. The young are helpless, and stay in the nest for 21 days while being fed by both parents.

The specific name, gambeli, honors naturalist William Gambel.