Titmouse family (Paridae)
Larger than a chickadee, 5 ½” long. Overall grayish color, gray crest on head, gray back and head, white face, light gray breast, whitish belly, black forehead. Flanks have rusty wash.
Cavity nester. Does not excavate its own cavity. Nests in natural tree cavities, old woodpecker holes, or artificial nest boxes. Eggs are white with small brown speckles. Clutch size – 5 to 6 eggs.
Song is a down-slurred series of two-syllable whistled notes, “peter peter peter” or one-syllable “pete pete pete”. Call is a scolding “jweejweejwee” or a series of high-pitched whistles. Family groups of titmice chat vigorously; sounds like they’re having a tea party.
In the Nature Park:
Year-round resident. In July, families of Tufted Titmice form small flocks that persist until spring. During winter, Tufted Titmice occur in mixed-species foraging flocks with Carolina Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, and Downy Woodpeckers. Tufted Titmice are competitively dominant over other flock members.