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Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse.  Photo by Jeremiah Zurenda
Jeremiah Zurenda



A small, sparrow-sized songbird with a prominent crest. Tufted titmice are primarily a soft gray color with a black forehead and buffy-pink sides. They are sometimes confused with the female northern cardinal and the cedar waxwing because of the crest. A female cardinal is larger, has a thick orange bill and reddish plumage on her wings and tail. A cedar waxwing has a black mask across the face, a brownish tint to its plumage and a shorter tail with a yellow band at its tip.


5.5-6 inches long. 8-10 inch wingspan.


This is a common bird in most forest types and in oak woodlands. Tufted titmice are found across the eastern ¾ of the main body of the state. They are non-migratory; nesting and winter ranges are identical.

Life Cycle

At feeders, tufted titmice eat black-oil sunflower seed, suet and miracle meal. Away from feeders they forage on insects, some seeds, acorns and small fruits. They are usually found in small groups of two to eight birds. Tufted titmice are very acrobatic and spend most of their time foraging on tree branches and wildflower stalks. They commonly take seeds one by one and flies to a nearby tree to open them. Seeds are opened by placing them between the feet and pounding the shell apart with its bill. In winter, it moves throughout the neighborhood in mixed flocks of Carolina chickadees, brown creepers and nuthatches.

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