Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) - HBW 12, p. 714

French: Mésange à tête noire German: Schwarzkopfmeise Spanish: Carbonero Cabecinegro

Taxonomy: Parus atricapillus Linnaeus, 1766, Quebec City, Canada.
Until recently present genus normally subsumed into a broad Parus, and many authors still prefer that treatment. Genus normally treated as feminine, but no evidence in original description or elsewhere justifies this, so genus is masculine by default. May form a superspecies with P. montanus and P. carolinensis, possibly also with P. gambeli and/or P. sclateri. Has been considered conspecific with P. montanus, but DNA studies indicate that the two are not closely related genetically. Hybridizes with P. carolinensis in narrow band in EC USA (ext.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Parus atricapillus Linnaeus, 1766, Quebec City, Canada.
Until recently present genus normally subsumed into a broad Parus, and many authors still prefer that treatment. Genus normally treated as feminine, but no evidence in original description or elsewhere justifies this, so genus is masculine by default. May form a superspecies with P. montanus and P. carolinensis, possibly also with P. gambeli and/or P. sclateri. Has been considered conspecific with P. montanus, but DNA studies indicate that the two are not closely related genetically. Hybridizes with P. carolinensis in narrow band in EC USA (extending from S Kansas E to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and W North Carolina). Geographical variation clinal, and races intergrade widely; paler-flanked birds in S Canada (NC Ontario) sometimes separated as race anamesus, but better included within nominate. Nine subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • turneri ( Ridgway, 1884) - NW USA (WC & S Alaska) and NW Canada (extreme NW British Columbia).
  • occidentalis ( S. F. Baird, 1858) - coastal SW Canada and W USA (S to NW California).
  • fortuitus ( Dawson & Bowles, 1909) - inland SW Canada and NW USA (S to NW Idaho).

     See all 9 subspecies
  • turneri ( Ridgway, 1884) - NW USA (WC & S Alaska) and NW Canada (extreme NW British Columbia).
  • occidentalis ( S. F. Baird, 1858) - coastal SW Canada and W USA (S to NW California).
  • fortuitus ( Dawson & Bowles, 1909) - inland SW Canada and NW USA (S to NW Idaho).
  • septentrionalis ( Harris, 1846) - W & C Canada S to C USA.
  • bartletti ( Aldrich & Nutt, 1939) - Newfoundland and Miquelon I.
  • atricapillus ( Linnaeus, 1766) - E Canada S to C USA.
  • nevadensis ( Linsdale, 1938) - SW USA.
  • garrinus ( Behle, 1951) - WC USA.
  • practicus ( Oberholser, 1937) - E USA (Appalachian Mts).