Fun Facts

  • This species' clear, whistled song can be written teewee teewee teewee. It also gives chickadee-like call notes: tsik-a-dee-dee.
  • According to dictionaries, the correct plural form of "titmouse" is "titmice"—although the word has no relation to "mouse." 
  • This bird is known under the name Plain Titmouse in some older field guides. The Oak Titmouse and a similar species, the Juniper Titmouse, were formerly considered one and the same.

Bird of the Month

January 2012

Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus)

 


Photo © Bill Hill

A noticeable, active songbird, the Oak Titmouse is a common visitor to backyard feeders and birdbaths—particularly where its namesake oak trees grow. Readily identifiable by its brownish-gray plumage and pointed crest, this bird is a close relative of the familiar Chestnut-backed Chickadee. Like the chickadee, the titmouse will join foraging flocks in fall and winter consisting of kinglets, warblers, bushtits, and wrens. This bird usually feeds by taking one seed or acorn at a time, flying off to hammer it open against a branch with its bill.
The Oak Titmouse is found year-round in the Monterey region. Backyard bird enthusiasts wishing to attract this species would be wise to offer black oil sunflower or safflower seed and diced peanuts at the feeder. The bird will also make use of nesting boxes, doing its breeding between April and June. Early placement of a nest box will entice curious nest-builders!