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Tufted Titmice Caching Seeds for Winter Consumption

tufted titmouse2  379Tufted Titmice and Black-capped Chickadees are in the same family (Paridae), and share several traits, one of which has to do with securing food. They are both frequent visitors of bird feeders where they not only take seeds and soon thereafter consume them, but they also collect and cache food throughout their territory for times when there is a scarcity of food. Tufted Titmice usually store their seeds within 130 feet of the feeder. They take only one seed per trip and usually shell the seeds before hiding them.

In contrast to most species of titmice and chickadees, young Tufted Titmice often remain with their parents during the winter and then disperse later in their second year. Some yearling titmice even stay on their natal territory and help their parents to raise younger siblings.

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7 responses

  1. One of my favorite little birds!

    November 17, 2014 at 6:57 pm

  2. lburdick

    This is sooo cute. A nice change from the scat and insect close ups. (See below) So did you get snow? Someone called into Diane Rehms show from Indiana and she was a teacher home for a snow day. We had a dusting this am, then it sleeted, then it rained. Accidents all over I-89 as idiots drive at breakneck speeds and visibility was nil.

    Sent from my iPad


    November 17, 2014 at 10:58 pm

  3. Great captures – titmice are the cutest birds!

    November 18, 2014 at 1:45 am

  4. Nancy Carey

    Dear Mary~~~

    What has become of all of our little red squirrels? I used to have heaps of them during all seasons of the year (I always have a corn cob on the window sill)—-but I haven’t seen a single one for weeks. I’m worried!

    Best wishes~~~~Nancy Carey (

    > >

    November 18, 2014 at 2:06 am

  5. Annette

    Ah this confirms what my daughter, a junior in college, was recently telling me. She knows I love birds, and told me that she learned in her natural science psychology class that the hypothalamus of chickadees is much bigger in proportion to the rest of their brain than ours because they hide seeds for later. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that deals with spatial relationships and this is why it’s bigger! So next time you can’t remember where you put something, just blame it on your hypothalamus!

    November 18, 2014 at 4:29 am

  6. Penny March

    How long have Titmice been in VT? When I moved here in the 70’s from CT, there were none that I saw up here at my feeders. They were in CT then, but I didn’t make a note of when they started to move north.

    November 19, 2014 at 2:38 am

    • Hi Penny,
      Titmice were first observed in Vermont in 1972 and their first breeding in Vermont was confirmed in 1975 (Dorset).

      November 19, 2014 at 3:00 am

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