Black-crested TitmouseBaeolophus atricristatus
6" (15 cm). Medium-sized crested tit; upperparts gray, underparts pale grayish; flanks tawny. Crest black in adult males, dark gray in females and immatures, with contrasting grayish forehead.
Song similar to that of Tufted Titmouse, peter-peter-peter. One-noted song is more common in Black-crested than in Tufted Titmouse.
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Broadleaf forests and woodlands, particularly oak and mesquite; also orchards, parks, and suburban areas; temperate brushlands, montane forests. Preferred habitats contain tall vegetation, numerous tree species, and dense canopy; in Texas, high densities in riparian and open forest in the Rio Grande Valley and in pinyon–juniper–oak and cypress–pine–oak woodlands in the Chisos Mountains.
Oklahoma and Texas south through northeastern Mexico.
Closely related to the Tufted Titmouse, and sometimes considered conspecific with it due to hybridization in central Texas and southwestern Oklahoma. Similar to Tufted Titmouse in most aspects of its ecology, demography, and behavior. Range of Black-crested Titmouse may have expanded into parts of southwest Oklahoma and northern Texas as a result of European settlement and associated invasion of the region by mesquite.
Nests typically placed 1-7 m high in abandoned woodpecker holes in living trees, stumps, posts. 4-7 white or pinkish-white eggs with small, evenly-disbursed reddish-brown speckles.