Family Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Least Concern

Mexican Chickadee (Poecile sclateri)


French: Mésange grise German: Grauflankenmeise Spanish: Carbonero mexicano

P[arus]. sclateri

O. Kleinschmidt

, 1897,

El Jacale, southern Mexico


Initial DNA analysis suggested close relationship to P. hudsonicus and P. rufescens#R, whereas more recent study indicates that closest relative of present species is P. cinctus#R. Geographical variation largely clinal, size decreasing N to S; races poorly defined, and intergrade widely. Species perhaps better treated as monotypic, as differences slight and perhaps inconstant. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. eidos (J. L. Peters, 1927) – extreme S USA (SE Arizona, SW New Mexico) and N Mexico (N & C Sierra Madre).
  • P. s. sclateri (O. Kleinschmidt, 1897) – C Mexico (C & S Sierra Madre).
  • P. s. garzai (A. R. Phillips, 1986) – NE Mexico.
  • P. s. rayi (A. H. Miller & Storer, 1950) – S Mexico.
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5–13·5 cm; 7·5–11 g. Medium-sized, black-capped chickadee with olive-grey upperparts. Nominate race has forehead to crown (including eye... read more


    Calls include drawn-out, buzzy and insect-like “szree” or “szree-szree” or... read more


    Open montane conifer forests and deciduous woodland. In Mexico breeds principally in oak (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Details of diet not well known, presumably includes small invertebrates and larvae, also some seeds. Storing of food by captives documented... read more


    Not well known. Season early Apr to mid-Jun; probably single-brooded. Monogamous. Courtship includes crouching and begging actions with... read more


    Resident, but some move altitudinally to lower levels from mid-Aug onwards; has wandered slightly N... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally abundant in most of Mexican range, but uncommon in S Oaxaca; in USA, common in Arizona and uncommon in New Mexico. Total population... read more

    Recommended citation

    Gosler, A. & Clement, P. (2020). Mexican Chickadee (Poecile sclateri). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 February 2020).