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• No ventriloquist’s dummy! Tufted Titmice have a remarkable alarm call which is a loud scold that fades off as if the bird is moving into the distance. This may fool predators into chasing the phantom bird call while the titmouse stays safely hidden.
• The Tufted Titmouse seeks insects and cocoons among dead leaves, whether still attached to a tree, fallen to the ground, or even built into squirrels’ nests.
• It eats with its feet! Tufted Titmice are one of 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.
• The 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 Titmouse have been know 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 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 use furrows, cracks, broken and rotted areas of trees, as well as on the ground.
• Tufted Titmouse 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.