There are five species of titmice in North America: Black-crested Titmouse, Juniper Titmouse, Oak Titmouse, Bridled Titmouse, and Tufted Titmouse. The most widely distributed and only titmouse in mid-Michigan is the Tufted Titmouse.
Bridled Titmouse is the only North American member of its family
that appears to have helpers at the nest regularly, And unlike the other titmice species, does not
hide seeds for future use. The part of the brain used to store memories
of hiding places is small in this species compared with other species
that frequently hide food.
• The Oak Titmouse mates for life, and pairs defend year-round
territories. Those that do
not find a mate in their first fall are excluded from territories and must live in marginal habitat
until they find a vacancy.
• The Juniper Titmouse sits very tight on her nest and will hiss like a snake if disturbed.
Black-crested Titmouse hybridizes with the Tufted Titmouse where
their ranges overlap in central Texas. They were considered the same
species for a while, but they are distinct genetically and vocally.
• The Tufted Titmouse has an alarm call that seems to fade off into the
distance, giving the impression that the bird is moving from one place
to another. Birdwatchers and predators alike can be fooled into chasing
this ghost call while the titmouse stays securely hidden out of sight. During the winter, Tufted Titmice forage together with chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers and Brown Creepers.They have been expanding its range northward
since the 1940s and is now found almost to the Canadian border across
most of its range. Speculation for the expansion suggests warming winter
temperatures and the increase in mature woodland habitat.
Sources: WBU BOTM and http://www.allaboutbirds.org