About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The voice of titmice

The Tufted Titmouse can slide by unnoticed among the branches of the trees but their song is so loud it’s like an opera singer projecting their song to the cheap seats. In the spring you can even hear their first mating songs through the closed windows.

The Tufted Titmouse’s song is a fast-repeated, clear whistle: purdy-purdy-purdy. The birds repeat this up to 11 times in succession or up to 35 songs delivered per minute. Females occasionally sing a quieter version of the song.

There are also 10 different known calls of tufted titmice. The calls are divided generally into 2 groups that are nasal and mechanical. One group is made up of calls that have a very low frequency and the others have a very high frequency.

The three calls in the group of high-frequency calls are usually associated with aggressive behavior. A scratchy, chickadee-like tsee-day-day-day is the most common. Tufted Titmice also give fussy, scolding call notes and, when predators are sighted, a harsh distress call that warns other titmice of the danger.

The big black eyes of this small gray bird make them irresistible. They are regulars at backyard bird feeders if you feed sunflower seeds, suet, peanuts, or mealworms.

In the spring you can keep them in your yard by putting up nest boxes. Tufted Titmice often line the inner cup of their nest with hair, sometimes plucked directly from living animals. The list of hair types identified from old nests includes raccoons, opossums, mice, woodchucks, squirrels, rabbits, livestock, pets, and even humans. March is a good time collect clean cat, dog, or human hair and present it to the nesting birds on the end of an evergreen.
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Related Articles: 
- Is it “Titmice” or “Titmouses”? http://bit.ly/yImBcF  
- Camouflaged Titmouse Fits Right In http://bit.ly/w0f2us
- What Do Titmice Eat? http://bit.ly/weAiDB
- Why is the Titmouse Tongue So Short? http://bit.ly/yds9Mm 
- Tufted Titmouse fun facts http://bit.ly/AfIA7H

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