The chestnut-backed chickadee (Poecile rufescens) is one of the smallest chickadees, measuring between 4 ½ and 5 inches long. It has a short tail and a rich brown back. This little bird is always on the move and may be seen upside-down as it looks for insects in the shake of redwoods, pines, and fir trees in the northwest. The California version may lack the red-brown flanks and show only chestnut on its back.
The reference for the measured drawing and painting notes is from study skins at East Washington University.
This article is from the Fall 2012 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.