Courtship Habits of the Tufted Titmouse

In the winter, Tufted Titmice travel in larger mixed flocks, but as the days lengthen in the spring these flocks break up as individuals become more intolerant of one another. It’s during this time that pairs of titmice will split off and begin searching for appropriate nesting sites.

Scientists aren’t entirely sure, but it appears that Tufted Titmice form life-long pair bonds.

Nesting Habits of the Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

Over the course of about six days, the Tufted Titmouse pair will build a cup-shaped nest inside a tree cavity. Since they can’t excavate these spaces on their own, they will take over natural spaces or use old spaces created by woodpeckers. Sometimes these birds opt for man-made nest sites and adopt nest boxes. Some have even been found to use metal pipes for their nesting site.

As for the exact nest placement, titmice don’t seem to be very choosy. Nests can be as high as 90 feet above the ground, but some have been found as low as 2 feet off the ground.

Nests are padded with hair, fur, string and other soft material. Scientists have found hair from a wide variety of species in Tufted Titmouse nests, including human and mouse hair! In fact, don’t be too surprised if one of these bold birds sneaks up on you to harvest nesting material from the back of your head! It really happens!

Tufted Titmouse Chicks

Tufted Titmouse Chick

These little gray birds may lay up to two broods per year, totaling up to eight eggs. Each white egg is speckled with small spots and measures less than one inch long.

At most, eggs take 17 days to hatch, and the chicks fledge 18 days after that. Both parents feed the young, and, quite interestingly, young from the first brood will often help raise the second brood of the season by assisting in the feeding of their brothers and sisters.

Talk about family values!

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