Tufted Titmouse (Draw a Bird Day)

not a sparrow, this
small bird—crested forager,
grey dusted with red

When I walk through Central Park I always see lots of sparrows on the ground, along with starlings, pigeons, grackles, robins in spring and summer, and the occasional blue jay, cardinal, or mockingbird. But the small birds always seem to be sparrows. Last week a flash of red caused me to look closer–a tufted titmouse! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one, although I often hear them.

The tufted titmouse, a relative of the chickadee, is a common species in the eastern United States, although their range has been steadily moving northward, due to both rising temperatures and the presence of bird feeders. They do not migrate, so bird feeders have allowed them to live in colder climates. They prefer evergreen-deciduous woodlands with a dense canopy and many tree species.

In the summer they eat insects primarily, adding seeds, nuts, and berries to their winter diet. Holding the seeds with their feet, they open them with their beaks. They often cache food in bark as well.

The tufted titmouse does not excavate their own nesting cavities, looking instead for natural holes, or abandoned nest holes. They will also use nest boxes or pipes. They line their nests with hair, and have been observed plucking hairs from many kinds of living animals, including dogs. That is something I would like to see!

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel methodtwomadness is a blog of two friends, Nina and Kerfe kblog is Kerfe's solo branch on the tree

35 responses to “Tufted Titmouse (Draw a Bird Day)”

  1. Colleen M. Chesebro says :

    Glorious images of the tufted titmouse! The last one captures the flight of the bird so well, Kerfe. I’ve seen a few of these birds here in Michigan. I love your birds!!


  2. SelmaMartin says :

    Aww, this is lovely. A titmouse. Up until a few days ago, I knew nothing about titmouses (or should that be titmice?) — Yup, Grammarly seems to approve of titmice. Anyway, with a name like that I thought a titmouse was a tiny mouse. haha. Got an aha moment with Ruth who photographed one. Your sketches are spectacular. love them. Thanks for sharing. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. robertawrites235681907 says :

    Hi Kerfe, I would like to see the birds pinching dog hair too. Lovely verse and pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Liz Gauffreau says :

    Thank you for the drawings and information about the tufted titmouse, a bird I’m not familiar with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      You’re welcome Liz. I learn things about every bird I draw, but this is a bird I’ve known since childhood. There are definitely birds I’ve encountered for the first time as an adult though.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Teagan Riordain Geneviene says :

    What beautiful work! Their personalities are captured well too. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ken Gierke / rivrvlogr says :

    They are the most frequent visitors at our feeder.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Claudia McGill says :

    Me too about that hair plucking. It made me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. D. Avery @shiftnshake says :

    I think I might have had some of those little birds around earlier. I’ll have to pay more attention. I don’t feed but have lots of trees and natural cover around my yard.
    As always, I love your pictures and words of birds.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jill Kuhn says :

    Lovely sketches Kerfe! I liked your Haiku too. I’m not sure that I have ever seen this little bird. I too would love to see it pluck hair from a dog! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  10. neil reid says :

    Birds, yea, one of my favorites.

    PS. Trouble with my browser/WP so apologies for any silence on my part. Fingers crossed.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. judeitakali says :

    Love your illustrations. They are gorgeous. I think you’ve converted me into a tufted titmouse lover. There are a lot of smaller birds here but I do not know most of their names. It would be nice to be able to identify them. I’d like to make a hobby of this, but where to start???

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Jude. There are lots of online guides to birds to help identify them, at least for birds in this hemisphere. There must be some for Africa too. I keep learning more and more, partly through doing my monthly posts. Start with the common ones, and when you see one you don’t recognize, try to identify it.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. msjadeli says :

    I love these tiny birds. Didn’t realize they were kin to the chicadee.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. melaniereynolds says :

    I love these sketches and Tufted Titmouse’s!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jeffrey Pillow says :

    Wonderful drawings. I love the technique. The tufted titmouse is such a cute little bird.


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