WatchList Species Account for Mexican Chickadee
(Parus sclateri)

Qualifies for the list as a Declining Yellow List Species


Mexican Chickadee
Photo: Bill Schmoker

Found in the U.S. only in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona and the Animas Mountains of southwestern New Mexico, the Mexican Chickadee also ranges far south into the mountains of Mexico, usually above 7,000 feet.


It prefers montane coniferous forests in the northern part of its range, but is found in oak-pine farther to the south. It is often found in mixed flocks of other small bark and foliage-gleaning songbirds during the nonbreeding season.


The New Mexico population is estimated at 200-300 pairs, with more breeding birds in Arizona. These populations are isolated from one another and from the populations in Mexico. In recent years the populations in the Chiricahua Mountains seems to have declined, perhaps because of drought.


Logging, over-grazing, and fire suppression may also have caused populations to decline. Because of the bird’s limited distribution in the U.S., habitat preservation is crucial. Artificial nestboxes can probably benefit the species. In Mexico, pine forests are heavily logged, but to date the forests are still extensive.