When I moved from New York to Florida, I was a bit homesick. I found comfort in the chickadees that came to my backyard feeder. Up north the black-capped chickadee frequented our sunflower feeders. Here in Florida the Carolina chickadee, a bird that is almost identical, comes to our backyard feeders to eat sunflower seeds too.
These two species have black bibs on gray chests with black caps. Black-capped chickadees are slightly larger and have a bit more white on their napes, something you would never be able to distinguish from any distance.
Carolina chickadees live from southern Pennsylvania and New Jersey south to Florida and the black-capped lives from Pennsylvania and New Jersey north. Where the ranges overlap, the two species interbreed.
There is a slight difference in the way they sing chicka-dee-dee-dee and it is something I can recognize – to me it’s a chickadee with a southern accent.
Although the Carolina Chickadee population has declined a little, this bird is still common and widespread in the southern U.S.