What Do Chickadees Eat? Here’s What Their Diet Look Like

What Do Chickadees Eat

Chickadees can easily be found in North America. And these birds have a distinctive call of chick-a-dee-dee.

There are different types of chickadees and they’re quite popular birds in the United States.

But what about their diet? Many bird lovers want to know what chickadees eat.

These birds are omnivorous and can eat both animals and plants. It ranges between seeds, carrion, insects, and fruit berries. But there are many other facts related to it.

And In this article, I’ll explain all the facts related to the diet of chickadees in detail. 

What Do Chickadees Eat In The Winter?

During the winter season, chickadees will feed on whatever is available to them. It may also include carrion if the conditions are harsh but generally, these birds do prefer seeds and berries. 

What seeds do chickadees eat?

Chickadees often eat seeds and it constitutes the favorite diet of these birds. They are fond of black oil sunflower seeds, striped sunflower seeds, and hulled sunflower seeds.

They also prefer chopped or shelled peanuts and sometimes peanut butter. The fats and oil in peanuts proved to be a good source of energy. You can offer peanuts fully shelled or chopped up into small pieces.

If you are keen to encourage these birds to the garden, then these birds can get attracted to safflower seeds or nyjer seeds. Nyjer seeds have a hard shell and they are quite expensive. 

What do baby chickadees eat?

The baby chickadees are fed by both parents and can eat digested & regurgitated food while staying in the nest. When they fledge the nest, they start collecting food for themselves. 

Do chickadees feed on the ground?

Chickadees also feed on the ground and they can consume carrion if there are no other food sources available for them.

However, the location of feeding can depend on what they are feeding on. These birds are quick and they don’t stay on the ground for long periods. 

Do chickadees eat insects?

Chickadees do eat a huge variety of insects as they are swift in flight and agile. Chickadees are opportunistic hunters and can easily catch spiders, caterpillars, moths, and flies. 

Do chickadees eat sunflower seeds?

Sunflower seeds are the favorite food source for chickadees and they are even nutritious for them. These seeds can attract plenty of birds including chickadees.

If you want to attract sunflower seeds to your backyard, then you can offer sunflower seeds to the bird feeders for better attraction. Chickadees love to eat black sunflower seeds. 

Do chickadees eat worms?

The diet of chickadees includes worms. Therefore, you can use store-bought mealworms to ensure frequent visits of chickadees to your yard. 

Do chickadees eat thistle?

Chickadees eat thistle but they don’t completely eat a thistle seed. They only eat the contents within the hardened shell.

These birds often hold the thistle seed by their feet and use their beaks to break the shell and expose the fruit. 

Do chickadees eat suet?

Yes, chickadees do eat suet and it is an essential part of their diet, especially during the winter season.

Suet is an energy-dense food source for these birds and they are the best available food source during the winters as other food may be scarce. 

Do chickadees drink a lot of water?

Chickadees require a water source to stay healthy and hydrated all year. This bird also takes the advantage of a shallow birdbath to clean their feathers.

The best bird bath for these birds is the shallow receptive with scattered river rocks.

This type of bath bird allows an easy entry and departure from the water and reduces the risk of drowning. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid deep baths or containers for these birds. 

How much do chickadees eat?

Chickadees usually require food that is about one-third of their body weight. With this quantity of food, these birds can stay healthy.

They have a quick digestive system which makes them have a healthy appetite. These birds are active which increases their feeding requirement as they spend a lot of energy.

Chickadees need to get fed every 30 minutes. Therefore, they are constantly foraging for food. 

How To Attract Chickadees To Your Backyard?

You need to use bird feeders for attracting chickadees to the garden. These birds should be offered a variety of fruit, insects, and seeds.

Chickadees have an in-built clock which makes them follow a regular schedule if they know where food is available. You can also add a birdbath near the feeders to attract them more effectively. 


Chickadees are omnivorous birds and generally prefer plants, animals, or insects. They can also eat carrion and can feed small amounts of animal flesh.

They even have a quick digestive system and it makes them eat every 30 minutes. 

At last, I hope this article may have helped you in some ways. Thank You For Reading!

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