tufted titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)
Features and Behaviors
The tufted titmouse averages six inches in length. It has gray feathers on the head, back, wings and tail. The bill is dark. There is a crest on the head. The belly feathers are white with a red wash.
The tufted titmouse is a common, permanent resident statewide in Illinois. Nesting takes place from April through May. The nest may be built in a tree cavity, old woodpecker nest cavity or nest box. The nest is placed from two to 85 feet above the ground. The nest is lined with leaves, grasses, mosses, bark, fur, hair and other objects. Four to nine white eggs with dark speckles are laid by the female. She alone incubates the eggs for the 13- to 14-day incubation period. The tufted titmouse lives in deciduous woodlands, coniferous woods, residential areas, parks, swamps and orchards. It sings “peter, peter, peter” and several whistled calls. It hunts for food with other species of birds. The tufted titmouse eats insects, seeds and berries.