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Sourland Mountains, Hopewell, New Jersey


Featherbed Lane Banding Station -- Chickadee quiz


Ranges of Black-capped Chickadee and Carolina Chickadee overlap in the Sourlands region of New Jersey. During the past three decades, a gradual increase in Carolina Chickadees has been observed at FLBS, while a slight decline in Black-capped Chickadee numbers has taken place. The species also occasionally hybridize, and appear to learn each others' vocalizations.

Jean Bickal and other workers have taken numerous photographs of interesting chickadees and matched them with banding data. below is presented some of these photos as a "quiz" for your entertainment-- can you identify the birds correctly? Click on YOUR guess and the answer will display.

Group 1:

Chickadee Quiz Bird 3 Black-capped   Carolina   Hybrid

Answer - Typical Black-capped. Wide white edges to greater secondary coverts, with edge on the narrow web on the outer tail feather (going across the tip of the feather in this hatch-year bird, and partly up the edge of the wide web in older birds), rusty sides, white hindneck.
Chickadee Quiz Bird 1 Black-capped   Carolina   Hybrid

Answer - Black-capped in appearance, but with Carolina measurements both at banding as a hatch-year, and recapture as second-year bird. It is freshly molted into basic plumage when wing and tail are usually longer than at hatch-year, yet the tail falls short of Black-capped length. The relatively small bib may be age related. A hybrid is strongly indicated.
Chickadee Quiz Bird 2 Black-capped   Carolina   Hybrid

Answer - Black-capped, hatch-year. Wide white edges to greater secondary coverts, and white edge of the outer tail feather extends across the tip.

Group 2:

Chickadee Quiz Bird 8 Black-capped   Carolina   Hybrid

Answer - Carolina banded as hatch-year bird and recaptured as a 5-year-old shown here. The greater secondary coverts have narrow gray edges, the hindneck is grayish, the sides are rusty and the bib is wide.
Chickadee Quiz Bird 9 Black-capped   Carolina   Hybrid

Answer - Hatch-year, Carolina in appearance with narrow gray edges to the greater secondary coverts, and gray narrow web of the outer tail feather. The tail is long like a Black-capped. It sounded like a Black-capped upon release. A hybrid is strongly indicated.
Chickadee Quiz Bird 7 Black-capped   Carolina   Hybrid

Answer - Carolina, after hatch-year. Narrow gray edges to the greater secondary coverts, gray hindneck, pale rusty sides, wide bib.

Group 3:

Chickadee Quiz Bird 4 Black-capped   Carolina   Hybrid

Answer - Black-capped, hatch-year. Rusty sides.
Chickadee Quiz Bird 5 Black-capped   Carolina   Hybrid

Answer - Black-capped, 5-year-old, plae rusty sides, wide bib.
Chickadee Quiz Bird 6 Black-capped   Carolina   Hybrid

Answer - Carolina, hatch-year. Rusty sides, small bib.


The Chickadee pictures at the top of the page by Erik Breden - used by permission. All others by the FLBBS Staff. Thanks to Richard Ditch for scanning the slides for the Quiz.

© 2001-2008 by the Featherbed Lane Banding Station. Last updated November 23, 2008.