A small songbird that is smaller than a sparrow. It has a black cap and throat (bib) and white cheeks. The back and wings are gray. The breast, belly and sides are pale with buff-colored sides.
Carolina chickadees occupy most forest and woodland types, but they are especially common in oak and riparian woodlands. They occur nearly statewide except for the panhandle and are common in urban and residential areas.
At feeders, Carolina chickadees eat black-oil sunflower seeds, suet and miracle meal. Away from feeders they eat insects and small seeds. Chickadees are usually seen in small groups of 2 to 8 birds. Extremely acrobatic, they hang from tree branches and feeders. They commonly take seeds from feeders then fly to nearby trees to open them before returning for another seed. Chickadees will place a sunflower seed between their feet and pound the shell with its bill to open the seed. In winter, the Carolina chickadee travels in mixed flocks of tufted titmice, brown creepers and nuthatches.
4-5 inches long. 6-8 inch wingspan.