Our September Bird of the Month is the Mountain Chickadee (Poecile gambeli). Mountain Chickadees are commonly found at higher elevations, especially within evergreen forests. They are often seen in pine trees, plucking seeds from the cones for a snack. Listen for their “chicka-dee-dee-dee” calls year round.They are also sometimes called the “cheeseburger” bird because their song is easily remembered as a repetitious “cheeseburger, cheeseburger.”
What distinguishes a Mountain Chickadee from their Black-Capped cousins is the Mountain’s signature black eye stripe within their white eye stripe.
Mountain Chickadees can be a common backyard bird and are easily attracted if you put up a bird feeder. They love seeds, especially sunflower seeds, because they can easily store them in a cache among the trees and bushes nearby as food for the winter.
If you do not have a bird feeder, Mountain Chickadees are found usually on mountain trails in the Sierras. Because of Reno’s high elevation (4,500 ft), they sometimes visit our local parks such as Idlewild or Rancho San Rafael.
Information from All About Birds.