Rochester Hills, Michigan

Fun Facts About Titmice

  • No ventriloquist’s dummy! Tufted Titmice have an alarm call that seems to fade off into the distance, giving the impression that the bird is moving from one place to another. Birdwatchers and predators alike can be fooled into chasing this ghost call while the titmouse stays securely hidden out of sight.
  • It eats with its feet! Tufted Titmice are one of just a few perching birds that can use their feet to hold seeds while they break them open.
  • During the winter the Tufted Titmouse forages together with Chickadees, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers and Brown Creepers.
  • Tufted TitmouseThe Tufted Titmouse is apparently totally dominant over the Black-capped Chickadees within their territory. Chickadee survival rates often plummet after Titmice expand into their territory for the first time.
  • The Tufted Titmouse has been expanding its range northward since the 1940’s and is now found almost to the Canadian border across most of its range. Speculation for the expansion includes warming winter temperatures and the increase in mature woodland habitat.
  • Tufted Titmice have been known to wander northward in the fall and winter, even into southern Canada.
  • No empty nesters here! Young Tufted Titmice often remain with their parents throughout their first winter.
  • On rare occasions, a young Tufted Titmouse will stay with its parents into the nest nesting season and help its parents raise the next brood.
  • Talk about being camouflaged! A wintering Tufted Titmouse perched among the gray branches and brown dead leaves of an American Beech tree seems to disappear completely!
  • The Tufted Titmouse and the Black-crested Titmouse were re-classified into just one species in 1983. The Black-crested Titmouse frequents mesquite shrub habitat and the Tufted Titmouse favors broadleaf hardwood forests.
  • Tufted Titmice always chose the largest sunflower seeds available to them.
  • Tufted Titmice typically select one seed from a feeder at a time. They shell it and hide the kernel within 130 feet of the feeder from which they obtained it.
  • Tufted titmice typically cache seeds under loose bark (46% of cases), but they also used furrows cracks, along with broken and rotted areas of trees, as well as on the ground.
  • Tufted Titmice will regularly eat snow when water for drinking is not available.
  • Tufted Titmice often give a high-pitched alarm call in response to a hawk flying overhead.
  • Tufted Titmice do not excavate their own nesting cavity. Instead they use natural holes in trees and abandoned cavities excavated by Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied, Red-headed, and Pileated Woodpeckers, and by the Northern Flicker. They will also use artificial nesting boxes.
  • The Bridled Titmouse, unlike the other titmice species, does not hide seeds for future use. The part of the brain used to store memories of hiding places is small in this species compared with other species that frequently hide food.
  • The Bridled Titmouse is the only species of its family in North America that appears to have regular helpers, in addition to its mate, when nesting.
  • The Oak Titmouse mates for life, and together they defend a territory throughout the year
  • The incubating female of the Juniper Titmouse sits very tight on her nest and will hiss like a snake if disturbed.