|Approximate distribution map
Parus bicolor Linnaeus, 1766
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 southward, was included as a subspecies, but now is considered a separate species, (Baeolophus atricristatus).
The species name bicolor means two-colored.
- Length: 5.5-6.3 in (14-16 cm)
- Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz (18-26 g)
- Wingspan: 7.9-10.2 in (20-26 cm)
These small birds are approximately six inches (15 cm) in length, with a white front, and grey upper body outlined with rust colored flanks. Other characteristics include their black foreheads, and the tufted grey crest on their heads.
The song of the tufted titmouse is usually described as a whistled peter-peter-peter, although this song can vary in approximately 20 notable ways.
Distribution and habitat
Its habitat is deciduous and mixed woods as well as gardens, parks, and shrublands. Although the tufted titmouse is non-migratory and originally native to the Ohio and Mississippi River basins, factors such as bird feeders have caused these birds to occupy a larger amount of territory across the United States and stretching into Ontario, Canada.
From 1966 - 2015 the tufted titmouse population has increased by more than 1.5% per year throughout the northeastern U.S., Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Behavior and diet
The tufted titmouse gathers food from the ground and from tree branches. It eats berries, nuts, insects, small fruit, snails, and seeds. Caterpillars constitute a major part of its diet during the summer. Titmice will stash food for later use. The titmouse can demonstrate curiosity regarding humans, and sometimes will perch on a window ledge and seem to be peering into the house. It may cling to the windows and walls of buildings seeking prey in wasp and hornet nests. It is a regular visitor around bird feeders. Its normal pattern is to scout a feeder from cover, fly in to take a seed, then fly back to cover to eat it.
Tufted titmice nest in a hole in a tree, either a natural cavity, a human-made nest box, or sometimes an old woodpecker nest. They line the nest with soft materials, sometimes plucking hair from a live animal such as a dog. If they find snake skin sheddings, they may incorporate pieces into their nest. Eggs measure under 1 inch (2.5 centimetres) long and are white or cream-colored with brownish or purplish spots.
The lifespan of the tufted titmouse is approximately 2.1 years, although it can live for more than ten years. On average, these birds will have a clutch size of five to seven eggs. Unlike many birds, the offspring of tufted titmice will often stay with their parents during the winter, and even after the first year of their life. Sometimes, a bird born the year before will help its parents raise the next year's young.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Baeolophus bicolor". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.old-form url
- Kaufman, Kenn (13 November 2014). "Black-crested Titmouse". National Audubon Society. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- "Forty-Third Supplement to The American Ornithologists' Union Check-List of North American Birds". American Ornithological Society. 1 July 2002. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- "Tufted Titmouse Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology". www.allaboutbirds.org. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
- McCommons, James (2003). "Tufted Titmouse". Emmaus. 50: 16. ProQuest 203733124.
- Grubb, Thomas C. (1998). Tufted Titmouse. Stackpole Books. ISBN 9780811729673.
- "Tufted Titmouse" (PDF). Ohio Birds. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- "Tufted & Black-crest. Titmou Baeolophus bicolor / atricrista". Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- "Tufted Titmouse - Diet". National Audubon Society. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- Montgomery, Sy. "Titmouse". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- Laskey, Amelia. "Some Tufted Titmouse Life Historu" (PDF). Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- "Tufted Titmouse, Audubon Field Guide". 13 November 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
- Medlin, Elizabeth C.; Risch, Thomas S. (2006). "An Experimental Test Of Snake Skin Use To Deter Nest Predation". The Condor. 108 (4): 963. doi:10.1650/0010-5422(2006)108[963:aetoss]2.0.co;2. ISSN 0010-5422. Lay summary.
- "Common Nesting birds - Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)". Nest Watch. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- Elder, William H. (1985). "Survivorship in the Tufted Titmouse" (PDF). Wilson Bull. 97: 517–524 – via ProQuest.
- Laskey, Amelia R. (July 1957). "Some Tufted Titmouse Life History" (PDF). Bird Banding. 28 (3): 135–145. doi:10.2307/4510633. JSTOR 4510633 – via ProQuest.
- Pravosudova, Elena V.; Grubb, Thomas C.; Parker, Patricia G.; Doherty, Paul F. (1999). "Patch Size and Composition of Social Groups in Wintering Tufted Titmice". The Auk. 116 (4): 1152–1155. doi:10.2307/4089699. JSTOR 4089699.
- "All About Birds - Tufted Titmouse". Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tufted titmouse.|
|Wikispecies has information related to Baeolophus bicolor.|