Carolina Chickadee

Poecile carolinensis
Range Map

Carolina Chickadees range includes the southeast third of the lower 48 states in the USA. These birds closely resemble Black-Capped Chickadees. Subtle differences in their vocalizations are often the best way to diagnose the two species. Where their ranges overlap, they sometimes interbreed. The hybrid offspring might vocalize as either species, or in an intermediate language of their own.

I’ve only had one meeting with these birds. It was at the San Bernard NWR in Texas, and I wasn’t sure of the species when I captured the images. It was only after reviewing the pictures and the available literature I recognised I’d met the Carolina Chickadee. I’m looking forward to more meetings in the future.

Taxonomists recognise four subspecies of Carolina Chickadee:

  • P. c. carolinensis lives in Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia.
  • P. c. extima lives in Missouri, Tennessee and North Carolina.
  • P. c. agilis lives in south-central Texas east to southern Arkansas and Louisiana.
  • P. c. atricapilloides lives in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

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