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Monday, December 30, 2013

Backyard favorite

One of my favorite backyard birds - and yes, I do say that about a lot of different birds - is the Tufted Titmouse. A pale gray bird with orangish flanks and a small pointed crest, it is not as colorful or flashy as some of our backyard birds, but it is an ever-present visitor to my yard, one that is here at all seasons of the year and is particularly noticeable during the gray days of winter when the trees are bare of leaves.

At this season of the year, these little, relatively tame birds travel in small flocks, often mixed with other species with whom they share an affinity for both seeds and insects. In my own yard, I frequently see five or six titmice mixed with Carolina Chickadees, Downy Woodpeckers, and Brown-headed Nuthatches as they visit the feeders or scour the bark of trees for insects. In winters in which Red-breasted Nuthatches visit our area, they, too, can be seen in these flocks.

The flocks visit the feeders sporadically throughout the day. They may swarm the feeders where they will feed for fifteen minutes or so and then they disappear for a time, only to return en masse perhaps thirty minutes or an hour later. But if one is patient one can be assured of seeing these birds several time in a day.

I love photographing titmice, although they are so active that it is sometimes hard to get them to sit still for a portrait. Still, sometimes I get lucky.

 I caught this one as he was visiting the pressed seed cake feeder, a favorite spot for many in his mixed flock.

Of course, after his snack, he had to fly to the backyard fountain to wash it all down with a few sips of water.


Done with the water and on to a favorite perch in the crape myrtle tree, where he will contemplate returning to the feeders, maybe for some suet this time.

Pretty little bird! And a wonderful backyard companion. One of my favorites.


  1. Lovely photos Dorothy. I saw one on our suet feeder once, bu haven't seen any recently.

    1. They do love their suet cakes! And I love providing them for these wonderful little birds.