Mountain Chickadee

This gallery contains 3 photos. On December 14, 2017, I made the acquaintance of a Mountain Chickadee at the home and open invitation of some very gracious local birders (whom I also met for the first time). As its name implies,the MOCH dwells at much higher elevations, and seeing this rarity at sea level was a very nice surprise.

Mountain Chickadee. © W.H. SIM PHOTOGRAPHY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
what a cute little MOCH! (Dec 14, 2017)
f/6.3, 1/400, 500mm, ISO 5000

The Mountain Chickadee is easily distinguished from the resident and more ubiquitious and Black-Capped Chickadees by the black “blindfold” and the white supercilium that the former sports over each eye, which can give it a rather stern look, especially when photographed head on. However, it was just as sweet and saucy as its Black-Capped cousins, and in no time, the curiosity became mutual on both photographee’s and photographer’s parts.

Mountain Chickadee. © W.H. SIM PHOTOGRAPHY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
the main fruit tree was its favorite perch when it wasn’t scarfing seeds (Dec 14, 2017)
f/7.1, 1/400, 500mm, ISO 4000

We had been experiencing heavy levels of pea-soup fog for the past two weeks, and I was afraid that photographing this visitor was going to prove challenging. Not to fear, though, as the MOCH quickly became accustomed to the sight of photographers’ lenses aimed its way as it ventured to the bird feeders in the backyard.

Mountain Chickadee. © W.H. SIM PHOTOGRAPHY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
not cross, not serious — simply curious! (Dec 14, 2017)
f/6.3, 1/400, 500mm, ISO 5000

Like its more urban (and suburban) cousins, the Mountain Chickadee has a more seed-based diet in the fall and winter, but leans more heavily on insects in the spring and summer. Being the only MOCH in the backyard, it was subject to “bullying” by the BCCHs. It would wait until the BCCHs left the feeders before flying there. To learn more about the Mountain Chickadee, please visit its Cornell Lab of Ornithology allaboutbirds.org profile.

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10 thoughts on “Mountain Chickadee

    • thank you, Noelle! our Black-Capped Chickadees look exactly like Carolina Chickadees. 🙂 we get Chestnut-Backed Chickadees as well, and if I ever head up north one day, I may even see a Boreal Chickadee, too! just to round out my Chickadee “collection.” 🙂

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