Tufted TitmouseBaeolophus bicolor

adult
Arthur Morris/VIREO
juvenile
Rick and Nora Bowers/VIREO
adult
Garth McElroy/VIREO
Tufted Titmouse

Description

6" (15 cm). Sparrow-sized. Gray above and whitish below, with rust-colored sides and conspicuous gray crest. Black-crested Titmouse, found in southwestern Oklahoma and Texas, is similar but has black crest.

Voice

A whistled series of 4 to 8 notes sounding like Peter-Peter, repeated over and over.

Listen

songs #2
songs #1
keep-her song & tsip calls
songs #3
see-see-see calls
tiska-say-say & other calls
songs #4
harsh doublets

Habitat

Swampy or moist woodlands, and shade trees in villages and city parks; in winter, at feeders.

Range

Resident from eastern Nebraska, southern Michigan, and Maine south to Texas, Gulf Coast, and central Florida.

Discussion

Titmice are social birds and, especially in winter, join with small mixed flocks of chickadees, nuthatches, kinglets, creepers, and the smaller woodpeckers. Although a frequent visitor at feeders, the titmouse is not as tame or confiding as a chickadee. It often clings to the bark of trees and turns upside down to pick spiders and insects from the underside of a twig or leaf. The Black-crested Titmouse, found from southwestern Oklahoma and northern Texas south into Mexico, was until recently considered a subspecies of Tufted Titmouse.

Nesting

5 or 6 brown-dotted white eggs in a tree cavity or bird box stuffed with leaves and moss.

Similar Species

adult

Wrentit

6-6 1/2" (15-17 cm). Uniformly brown, with faintly streaked breast and conspicuous pale eyes.

adult

Black-crested Titmouse

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.

adult

Oak Titmouse

5-5 1/2" (13-14 cm). Sparrow-sized. Plain gray with paler underparts; small crest, usually erect.

adult

Juniper Titmouse

5 3/4" (15 cm). Adult plain gray above, paler gray below; crest gray. Tail long.

adult male

Bushtit

3 3/4-4" (10 cm). Gray above with light underparts; small bill; and relatively long tail. Pacific Coast birds have brown crown, pale ear patch; Rocky Mountain birds have gray crown, brown ear patch.

Vireo

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