Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Mountain Chickadee (Poecile gambeli) - HBW 12, p. 715

French: Mésange de Gambel German: Gambelmeise Spanish: Carbonero Montañés
Other common names: Gambel’s Chickadee

Taxonomy: Parus gambeli Ridgway, 1886, “about one day’s journey west of Santa Fé, New Mexico”, USA.
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. Has been placed in a superspecies with P. sclateri, sometimes including also P. montanus, P. carolinensis and P. atricapillus; has also been considered possibly conspecific with P. superciliosus or placed with it in a superspecies; further research required. Geographical variation largely clinal, and rac.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Parus gambeli Ridgway, 1886, “about one day’s journey west of Santa Fé, New Mexico”, USA.
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. Has been placed in a superspecies with P. sclateri, sometimes including also P. montanus, P. carolinensis and P. atricapillus; has also been considered possibly conspecific with P. superciliosus or placed with it in a superspecies; further research required. Geographical variation largely clinal, and races intergrade; additional proposed races are wasatchensis (described from Wasatch Mts, in Utah), synonymized with inyoensis, but sometimes included within nominate, and grinnelli (Idaho) and abbreviatus (California), both merged with baileyae. Birds in Davis Mts, in SW Texas, have been proposed as a further race on basis of small size. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • baileyae (Grinnell, 1908) - Pacific slope of Rocky Mtns in W Canada and W USA.
  • inyoensis (Grinnell, 1918) - W USA (SE Oregon and S Idaho S to CE California and NW Arizona).
  • gambeli (Ridgway, 1886) - WC USA (E Rockies from C Montana S to New Mexico and W Texas).
  • atratus (Grinnell & Swarth, 1926) - extreme NW Mexico (N Baja California).