Archive for Tits

Black-capped Chickadee 12/23/17

Cheerful and curious, Black-capped Chickadees have developed numerous adaptations for surviving the frigid temps of winter. They become omnivorous, they cache food, they can lower their body temps at night, and they have several roosting cavities to choose from when it’s time for bed or whenever they need a cozy spot to ride out a spell of dirty weather. Roost cavities are much smaller than nest cavities, most commonly they are small cracks or holes in trees (esp. birches), and need only be large enough and sheltered enough to keep out wind and precipitation.

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Black-capped Chickadee 4/8/17

Today I had a spring trifecta—this Black-capped Chickadee was singing a soft and plaintive fee bee for his sweetheart, frogs had begun croaking at Fort Foster, and month late crocuses were blooming in the garden.

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Tufted Titmouse 9/28/16

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Tufted Titmice are a North American member of the Tit family. They are year round birds found in the eastern half of the US and parts of southern Canada. They prefer to nest in natural tree holes but will also use abandoned woodpecker nests and man-made nest boxes. Young are raised on insects, especially caterpillars, but their diets shift to seeds and berries in the fall and through the winter. Like all tits, they’ll stash food for later retrieval, usually in the barky crevices of trees. Sexes are alike but the juveniles lack black foreheads.

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Tufted Titmouse 2/3/15

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You can tell adult from juvenile titmice by the black forehead and cinnamon dusted flanks, which are only seen in the adults.

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Tufted Titmouse 11/18/14

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There are 5 Titmouse species, all in North America, 4 of them in the west and the Tufted Titmouse in the east. In the fall and winter they often flock up with their chickadee cousins along with nuthatches and woodpeckers to form a cheerful neighborhood gang, visiting feeders for seeds and suet. They are curious but wary, taking one seed at a time then seeking cover to shell it and often stashing it nearby for later. They don’t migrate and pairs remain in their territories year round. Like many little birds in winter, they seek cavities at night and in bad weather for shelter.  Sexes are alike, immature birds lack the black forecap.

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Tufted Titmouse juvenile 9/2/14

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Tufted Titmice are shaped like little cardinals with similar perky crests, only instead of scarlet all over they are gray above and white below and like cardinals they are regulars at backyard feeders. Juveniles are plain and rather nondescript except for those big dark eyes, while adult plumage adds a dapper black forehead, rusty orange flanks, and more defined edges. They are only found in the Eastern US and don’t migrate. Like most recently fledged songbirds, titmice have an uncertain way about them when they fly and especially when trying to land, but eventually they become accomplished acrobats.

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Black-capped Chickadee 4/4/14

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