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Tufted Titmouse Habits

The Tufted Titmouse is probably one of my favorites of the feeder birds. He has a perky way about him without being rash or a bully at the feeder. If you spend some time outside where they see you often, they'll become more tolerant of you being around.

Since I feed year around and spend much time gardening, the ones that visit me have grown accustom to me. If I had the patience I could probably hand feed them.

The range of the Tufted Titmouse extends down the Atlantic coast from middle New England and as far south as southern Florida.

This bird is found along the Gulf coast to eastern Texas where its range turns north and follows the eastern margin of the Great Plains as far as southeastern Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin.

The northern boundary extends eastward through Michigan, southern Ontario, and northern New York to New England.


Tufted Titmouse
The Tufted Titmouse bird measure 6 to 6 1/2 inches in length. Back and wings are gray, head has a crest. The uderparts whitish, flanks buff and forehead is black on eastern birds. The whole crest is black on Texas birds.

Black eye conspicuous on gray face.

Mating and Courtship Habits

As a permanent resident in its range, titmice travel in flocks during the non-mating season.

With the lengthening days of spring, these birds grow more intolerant of the wintering flock and become more aggressive towards each other.

As this happens pairs (formed during the winter) begin to disperse and begin looking for nesting sites.

Nesting Habits

Video - Tufted Titmouse Feeding
Titmice prefer large patches of woodland as their nesting territory. Although a cavity nester, they are not likely to nest in birdhouses, although they sometimes do.

Prefering to nest fairly high in trees. Titmice do not excavate their own nest site, but look for old woodpecker holes or broken limbs.

They will not use the same nesting site for more than one year.

The nest can be located up to 90 feet above ground. The nest is a cup of moss, bark strips, and hair, placed at the bottom of a tree cavity.

The female will lay 5 to 8 eggs that are white with brown specks. Incubation is done by the female and last about 14 days. During which time the male sometimes feeds the female. Although the female does leave the nest to feed and bath.

The young will leave the nest in about 18 days after hatching.

1 - 2 broods raised each season.

Feeding Habits of Tufted Titmouse - What they Eat

Fairly shy at the feeder letting more aggressive birds feed before getting food for themselves. This bird feeds primarily eats seeds although insects make up a portion of their diet.

Some of the seeds and fruit that are eaten include oak and beech mast, pine seeds, blueberry, blackberry, mulberry, bayberry, Virginia creeper, and hackberry.

These birds do not eat all the food they find at once. Instead they hide it in tree bark or bury it in the ground. This behavior is called caching.

They will spread these caches far apart in an effort to find some food even if other supplies are found by other birds or animals.

At the bird feeder you can attract the Tufted Titmouse by supplying sunflower seeds in your Bird Feeders. Like Black-capped Chickadees, these birds will pick one seed and fly to a perch, eat the seed, and return to the feeder for the next bite.

These Vidoes Show One Eating in Nature

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By Gene Planker