Massachusetts State Bird - Black-capped Chickadee


Black-Capped Chickadee

(Parus atricapillus )
Adopted on March 21, 1941.

TThe Black-Capped Chickadee (Penthestes atricapillus) was adopted as the official State Bird by the Massachusetts Legislature on March 21, 1941. It is also known as the titmouse, tomtit, and the dickybird, and it is one of the most familiar of the North American birds. It is from four to five inches in size, its tail accounting for nearly half its length. The general coloring is ashy-grey, the back having a brownish tinge; the crown, nape, chin, and throat are black, and the cheeks white. It nests in a stump, tree, or fence post close to the ground, and broods twice a year. It is a cheerful bird and has a pleasing call: "Chick-adee-dee-dee".

  • Length: 4.5 inches
  • Short bill
  • Black crown and throat
  • White face
  • Pale gray upperparts
  • White edges to wing coverts
  • Grayish-white underparts
  • Rusty flanks
  • Sexes similar
  • Often found in small flocks
Kingdom Animalia -- animals
   Phylum Chordata -- chordates
      Subphylum Vertebrata -- vertebrates
         Class Aves -- birds
            Order Passeriformes -- perching birds
               Family Paridae -- chickadees, titmice
                  Genus Parus Linnaeus, 1758 -- chickadees, titmice
                     Species Parus atricapillus Linnaeus, 1766 -- black-capped chickadee