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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Tufted Titmouse -- Parus bicolor


RANGE: Resident from northeastern Nebraska, central and eastern Iowa, southern Wisconsin, northern Ohio, southern Ontario, central New York, western Massachusetts, and southwestern Connecticut south to western Texas, the Gulf Coast, and southern Florida, and west to central Kansas, eastern Oklahoma and eastern Mexico.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Associated with eastern coniferous and deciduous forests, where it prefers woodland swamps and river bottoms. Also occurs in orchards, low, rich woodlands, woodlots, city parks, and suburban areas.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Natural cavities or woodpecker holes for nesting.

NEST: Usually nests in natural tree cavities or old woodpecker holes, generally 10 to 20 feet, but ranging from 3 to 90 feet, above the ground. Occasionally nests in bird boxes.

FOOD: Gleans food from branch and leaf surfaces during spring and summer and from branch surfaces and the ground in winter. Feeds primarily on insects, especially caterpillars; also eats snails; spiders; berries; seeds of sumac, yellow-poplar, alder, poison ivy, and bayberry; and some mast.

REFERENCES: DeGraff et al. 1980, Forbush and May 1955, Gillespie 1930, Johnsgard 1979, Laskey 1957, Martin et al. 1951, Terres 1980.


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