Investigating hybridization between the declining Gray-headed Chickadee and a recent colonizer, the Boreal Chickadee
June 2021 - September 2024
Gray-headed chickadees were historically common in Alaska and northwestern Canada and in recent years populations have been extirpated (or are in decline) and replaced with boreal chickadees. There is insufficient information to identify threats to Gray-headed Chickadees in North America with confidence. Two mechanisms are thought to be playing a role in the decline of gray headed chickadees – interspecific competition and genetic swamping. This project is a collaboration across multiple agencies including Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, National Park Service, and Canadian Wildlife Service. Understanding what role, if any, hybridization has on the decline of the Gray-headed Chickadee is an important step in defining and prioritizing appropriate and effective conservation recovery actions.