Long regarded as a southern species, the Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) has been spreading northward in recent years. Now these tame, confiding birds are familiar visitors at feeders from Michigan to New England. Their ringing song varies; usually it is a rapid two-note whistle—pe-ter, pe-ter. Titmice are relatives of chickadees, and this species has a number chickadeelike calls. In the West, the Plain Titmouse (Parus inornatus), which lacks the buffy flanks of the Tufted, actually does call tsick-a-dee-dee.
When agitated, titmice raise their crest and chatter angrily. They nest in tree holes and cavities left by woodpeckers and depend on dead and dying trees for these nest sites. They forage for insects, nuts, berries, and seeds, consuming more insects and caterpillars more than seeds.
IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern. It is widely spread throughout the eastern United States, spreading north because of habitat change.
Bird photography by Larysa Johnston