Black-capped Chickadees Photographed In A Mountain Canyon

/, Black-capped Chickadees, Little Emigration Canyon, Morgan County, Utah, Wasatch Mountains/Black-capped Chickadees Photographed In A Mountain Canyon

I spent some time yesterday morning observing, photographing and enjoying the songs and calls of Black-capped Chickadees in a high mountain canyon, chickadees always bring a smile to my lips and yesterday was no exception.

Bedraggled Black-capped Chickadee on a Common Mullein, Little Emigration Canyon, Morgan County, UtahBedraggled Black-capped Chickadee on a Common Mullein – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 1250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

One of the Black-capped Chickadees I photographed looked rather bedraggled because some of the feathers on its head, neck and back were messy, I suppose that could be from molting or perhaps it hadn’t finished preening after bathing in a nearby seep. It was busy feeding on a Common Mullein and although the bird is small in the frame I liked the background because of the flowers and greenery.

Black-capped Chickadee on a Serviceberry, Little Emigration Canyon, Morgan County, UtahBlack-capped Chickadee on a Serviceberry – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 1250, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Later I had the opportunity to photograph a Black-capped Chickadee that landed on a serviceberry very close to me and I jumped at the chance to photograph it as it looked towards me while I sat in a “mobile blind”.

I could have and should have decreased my ISO, I had turned the ISO up earlier in the morning because of low light and had forgotten to reset it to a lower setting but with my Nikon D500 I don’t worry much about unwanted noise at ISO 1250 anyway.

Calling Black-capped Chickadee, Little Emigration Canyon, Morgan County, UtahCalling Black-capped Chickadee – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 1250, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The Black-capped Chickadee called several times while it perched on the serviceberry shrub and although I was focused on taking images of the bird I loved hearing it call too.

You can listen to the calls and song of a Black-capped Chickadee here.

Black-capped Chickadee about to take flight, Little Emigration Canyon, Morgan County, UtahBlack-capped Chickadee about to take flight – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 1250, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I took about 50 images of the Black-capped Chickadee before it flew off and I was happy with the quality of most of them. Time spent with a chickadee is always great, the photos I take are a bonus.

Speaking of great… I saw a female Moose yesterday in the same general area as I photographed this chickadee and she had two calves! I sure wish they had been out in the open instead of buried deep in tall grasses, those calves looked adorable.

Life is good.


A few facts about Black-capped Chickadees:

  • Black-capped Chickadees have black caps, white cheeks, short, thin black bills, gray backs and wings with buffy underparts.
  • Black-capped Chickadees are nonmigratory.
  • Black-capped Chickadees are found from Alaska south to northern California then as far east as Newfoundland and south to the Atlantic States. Black-capped Chickadees prefer deciduous and mixed forests, open woodlands and suburban areas.
  • Black-capped Chickadees eat insects, insect eggs, seeds, berries and fruits.
  • Black-capped Chickadees lay 5 to 10 eggs which hatch in 11 to 13 days. The female incubates and they are monogamous.
  • A group of chickadees can be called a “banditry” or a “dissimulation” of chickadees.
  • Black-capped Chickadees can live up to 12 years of age.


  1. Patty Chadwick August 13, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    So curious, so cute! LOVE THEM!!!

  2. Elephants Child August 13, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you for including the link for these charmer’s song.
    I hope that Mama Moose brings her babies out to see you soon.

  3. Laura Culley August 13, 2018 at 11:38 am

    A banditry of chickadees–I LIKE that. Back when I lived in Dallas, the local chickadees would swoop in and snitch a wad of my dog’s hair for their nests. Maggie the Golden Wondermutt didn’t seem to mind much since she was throwing her coats and great gobs of it stood for the taking (despite that I brushed her thoroughly at least once a day!). To this day, any time I see or hear chickadees, I can’t help but break out in a smile that exceeds the width of my face! Sadly, they don’t live here! DARGH!

  4. April Olson August 13, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Chickadees are hard to capture photos of they are so flitty. Have you noticed how the juveniles only sing the “chicka… chicka” part of the song and it takes a while to learn the “deee….deee” part?

  5. Sybill Reed August 13, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Hi sweetie! Beautiful job of shooting these my favorite Birds since I was a child! Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!

  6. Trudy Brooks August 13, 2018 at 7:15 am

    Thank you for the photos. I love the little birds. Interesting facts that you posted about them. I hope you post some moose pictures sometime.

  7. Liz Cormack August 13, 2018 at 6:38 am

    Great photos. We seem to be seeing fewer Black-capped Chickadees every year. Scary.

  8. Bob mcpherson August 13, 2018 at 6:22 am

    Beautiful photos. Mia

  9. Kathy August 13, 2018 at 5:55 am

    Beautiful series of photos Mia! Love them all but especially the last one with the tail fanned out a bit! 🙂

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