Breeds in deciduous and mixed forests, open woods and parks, willow thickets and cottonwood groves. Often found in habitat with birch and alder where food and nest sites are both available. Also, inhabits suburban areas and old fields (Smith 1993). Prefers rich understory of brush, and tends to nest near forest edge. In B. C., occurs on coast from sea level to 210 m and interior from 270 to 1,500 m (Campbell et al. 1997). Winter habitat similar, but may inhabit less suitable habitat such as the middle of cities and coastal areas with dense vegetation, usually large shrubs (Smith 1993). In B. C., occurs from sea level to lower mountain slopes on the coast and up to 2,300 in the interior during nonbreeding. Uses deciduous, mixed deciduous/coniferous, and open coniferous forests, shrub thickets and riparian woodlands, especially alder, cottonwood, willow, aspen, and birch stands with a shrub understory. On coast, associated with salmonberry and thimbleberry thickets. In coniferous forests, prefers edges and openings along beaver ponds, lakes, river banks, bogs, swampy areas, meadows, pastures, clearcuts, burned forests, orchards, and other human-made clearings with deciduous habitats. (Campbell et al. 1997).
Campbell, R. W., N. K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J. M. Cooper, G. W. Kaiser, M. C. E. McNall, and G. E. J. Smith. 1997. The Birds of British Columbia. Volume 3. Passerines: flycatchers through vireos. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver. 693 pages.
Smith, S. M. 1993. Black-capped Chickadee (Parus atricapillus). In The Birds of North America, Vol. 7, No. 39 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists’ Union.