Nature's Focus: The Tufted Titmouse

The Tufted Titmouse
All photos by Thomas W. Gorman

By: Thomas W. Gorman

    It seems that if you either are wandering through the forests of New Jersey or you are simply enjoying the birds at your back yard feeders, inevitably you will see an adorable bird called the Tufted Titmouse.  This small song bird is quite an active species and it is one which will spend a lengthy period of time taking seed from the feeders and caching them in a nearby trees’ bark, or any suitable hiding place that they have claimed a their own.

    The Tufted Titmouse has dark colored, bulging eyes and combined with its crest give the impression of it being larger in size then it actually is.  The upper areas are a dark gray with a darker gray crest and a black patch just above its stubby bill.  Its flanks vary from a rusty brown to a soft peach color and its underparts are a mix of softer gray and white.  The adult male and female generally are identical in appearance. The juvenile is somewhat similar but lacks the black patch above the bill, and its flanks barely exhibit the color of the adults.

    During the fall and winter months their primary food source is seed, berries and nuts; however during spring and summer they eat a large variety of insects.  When it comes to nesting, the Tufted Titmouse will build a nest anywhere they can find a suitable cavity such as a decaying tree, or a cavity excavated by another species, or they may also build their nest in a bird house.

    More detailed information about this species can be found at:

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