Tufted Titmouse - Eating Like A Bird

December 26, 2020  •  Leave a Comment


One of my bird feeders contains a favorite seed of the Tufted Titmouse and I’m used to seeing them in my yard, energetically moving around the feeders. I also sometimes see them when I’m hiking, like on this recent occasion in South Carolina when I photographed this Tufted Titmouse eating a Katydid.  This was a first. I wasn’t out looking to photograph this bird, but it was calling and chirping a lot, causing me to search around and see what was up.  Glad I did. Tufted Titmice are one of just a few perching birds that can use their feet to hold seeds while they break them open.  As I discovered, they can also hold a Katydid - which is a bit bigger -- with their feet while "breaking it open", so to speak.


Tufted Titmice nest in tree holes, and nest boxes, but they can’t excavate their own nest cavities. So instead, they use natural holes and cavities left by woodpeckers. As I’ve written about in my blog “Dead Trees Are Do-Gooders”, birds’ dependence on dead wood for their homes is one reason why it’s important to allow dead trees to remain rather than cutting them down.  Tufted Titmice often line the inner cup of their nest with hair, sometimes plucked directly from living animals. Old Tufted Titmouse nests have been found with hair from raccoons, opossums, mice, woodchucks, squirrels, rabbits, livestock, pets, and even humans. You definitely want to watch this YouTube video of a Tufted Titmouse collecting hair from a dog, https://youtu.be/eNBEERMF2zE.  Like some other birds, Titmice collect extra food and hide it for use in winter. They’re known to stash seeds from bird feeders and can remember the hiding spot of thousands of seeds.


In North America, this variety of Titmouse is found only in the United States, all along the east coast, into the Midwest, and portions of the southwest.  They’re not seen in most of the western United States. Outside of the breeding season Tufted Titmice live in small flocks. As the breeding season arrives, Titmouse pairs guard nesting territories.


Read more about this blog here: https://www.copperrangellc.com/blog/2020/12/eating-like-a-bird.




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