Whether ambling through the woods or hanging out in the backyard, you might hear a high, rapid whistle coming from the treetops — “peter-peter-peter!” This is the song of the Tufted Titmouse.
In the spring, they might choose a tree cavity to build their nests. When they've finished with their cup-shaped structures, built from bark, damp leaves and blades of grass, they then go on the lookout for some kind of soft lining. Sometimes they are lucky enough to find some cotton or scraps of fabric. Other times however, they look to other animals — even live ones, for material to soften their nest. They have been known to be so bold as to grab hair right from the tail of a squirrel! Other places you might also see titmouse nests are in such structures as a pipe opening or a nest box.
Once their nestlings are grown and fledged, one of the babies may remain with their parents for awhile. In rare cases, they may even help their parents feed the next brood.
The Tufted Titmouse is quite at home both in parks and in back yards. When they visit your feeder during the summer and early fall they busily shell the seeds they pull out, as needed - and then store them in tree bark for their winter food supply. They are also known for associating with other bird species. As fall gives way to winter, you might find them in flocks in the forest, joined by chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers, foraging for food as the Tufted Titmouse does much of the communication in the group.
The Tufted Titmouse is a frequent visitor of bird feeders year round. Try setting out one of their favorites — Lyric Supreme Wild Bird Mix or Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Mix and watch the feeder party begin!