The Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) is a small songbird from North America, a species in the Tit and Chickadee family (Paridae). The Black-crested Titmouse, found from central and southern Texas southwards, was included as a subspecies but is now considered a separate species B. atricristatus.
These birds have grey upperparts and white underparts with a white face, a grey crest, a dark forehead and a short, stout bill; they have rufous-colored flanks. The song is usually described as a whistled peter-peter-peter. They make a variety of different sounds, most having a similar tone quality. [Wikipedia]
A little gray bird with an echoing voice, the Tufted Titmouse is common in eastern deciduous forests and a frequent visitor to feeders. The large black eyes, small, round bill, and brushy crest gives these birds a quiet but eager expression that matches the way they flit through canopies, hang from twig-ends, and drop into bird feeders. When a titmouse finds a large seed, you’ll see it carry the prize to a perch and crack it with sharp whacks of its stout bill. [All About Birds]
Tufted Titmouse Facts [All About Birds]
- Unlike many chickadees, Tufted Titmouse pairs do not gather into larger flocks outside the breeding season. Instead, most remain on the territory as a pair. Frequently one of their young from that year remains with them, and occasionally other juveniles from other places will join them. Rarely a young titmouse remains with its parents into the breeding season and will help them raise the next year’s brood.
- Tufted Titmice hoard food in fall and winter, a behavior they share with many of their relatives, including the chickadees and tits. Titmice take advantage of a bird feeder’s bounty by storing many of the seeds they get. Usually, the storage sites are within 130 feet of the feeder. The birds take only one seed per trip and usually shell the seeds before hiding them.
- Tufted Titmice nest in tree holes (and nest boxes), but they can’t excavate their own nest cavities. Instead, they use natural holes and cavities left by woodpeckers. These species’ dependence on dead wood for their homes is one reason why it’s important to allow dead trees to remain in forests rather than cutting them down.
- The oldest known wild Tufted Titmouse was at least 13 years, 3 months old. It was banded in Virginia in 1962, and found in the same state in 1974.