BirdNote: Comparing Chickadee Calls

In the Pacific Northwest, you might see both Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees at your birdfeeder.

The Chestnut-back (seen here) has a black head with a large white cheek patch, but its back and sides are a rich chestnut brown. And the birds sound different, too! The call of the Black-capped Chickadee follows the familiar “Chick-a-dee, dee, dee” pattern. But the call of the Chestnut-back is higher pitched, faster, and has a buzzy quality. While we delight in their music, the birds are engaged in more serious business – they’re keeping their flock together.

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Broadcast on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:58 a.m.