The underparts of this most handsome of chickadees is white to pale grayish-white with rufous or pale gray flanks. The wing feathers are dark gray with paler fringes.
Its breeding habitats and residences are low elevation coniferous and mixed coniferous/deciduous forests along the Pacific Coast from Southern Alaska to California and inland to Montana.
Calls or song.
The "Chestnut-backed Chickadee" has many notes he sings from a hoarse, "tsick-a-see-see" to a harsh "zze-zze", as it flutters up when disturbed in its chamber.
Population and distribution.
They often move through the forest in mixed feeding flocks, and are often seen in large groups with bushtits and warblers. This bird has readily adapted to suburban settings, promting a range expansion.
The "Chestnut-backed Chickadee" is a cavity-nester, usually utilizing an abandoned woodpecker hole, but sometimes excavating on its own. These chickadees use lots of fur and hair to make their nests. The most common hair comes from deer, rabbits, and coyotes. The adult chickadees also construct a layer of fur used to cover the eggs on the nest whenever they leave it. Bumble bees, who also live in holes, seem to like this soft nest material and are useful in driving away other brooding birds. The female lays five to eight white eggs, speckled brown, per clutch.