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"Titmouse" redirects here. For other uses, see Titmouse (disambiguation).
Tufted Titmouse-27527-2.jpg
Baeolophus bicolor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paridae
Genus: Baeolophus
Cabanis, 1850

Baeolophus is a genus of birds in the family Paridae. Its members are commonly known as titmice. All the species are native to North America. In the past, most authorities retained Baeolophus as a subgenus within the genus Parus, but treatment as a distinct genus, initiated by the American Ornithologists Union, is now widely accepted.[1]

The plural of titmouse is a subject of much discussion among ornithologists. Most use titmice, but some insist on titmouses. The reason for this debate is simple.

In virtually all other animals with compound names, the modifier forms the first part of the name and the descriptor forms the last part. Consider horse fly (a fly around horses), catfish (a fish with cat-like feelers), or sparrow hawk (a hawk that eats sparrows). This bird is a tit (bird of the family Paridae) that scurries like a mouse, not a mouse with features of a tit, so the name should be mousetit, in which case the plural would be mousetits. But the common name given this bird is titmouse, leading to confusion over plurals, titmice or titmouses.

The genus contains the five species:[2]


  1. ^ Del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A. & Christie D. (editors). (2007). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-84-96553-42-2
  2. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Waxwings and their allies, tits & penduline tits". World Bird List Version 6.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 15 February 2016.