Richard and Diane Van Vleck Personal Pages
The Home Habitat

Tufted Titmouse

Parus bicolor

Tufted titmouse

Tufted titmice are year-round residents in our yard, preferring nestboxes by the creek area or in overgrown fencerows. They often choose the boxes with slabwood fronts (retaining the bark). However, titmice have used the conventional painted wood bluebird box in the busiest part of our yard on two recent occasions.

Feb 2011 update Tufted titmice have attempted to nest in a nestbox with video camera hanging in a maple tree for the past two years. A house wren has punctured their first egg in both years, causing them to desert the nest. The wrens moved to a gourd placed in a nearby tree, but, still did not allow the timice to nest in the box. Our backyard bluebirds, on the other hand, have successfully reared multiple broods each year, even though their box is even closer to the wren gourd. The bluebirds practice continual vigilence and don't allow the wrens within 10 feet or so of their box. On several occasions, I have witnessed one of the bluebirds dive at a house wren that has landed on the roof of the trailer blind, 8 feet from the bluebird box. Other songbirds are never challenged unless they land on top of the bluebird box. During their nesting attempts, the tufted titmice often flew off together, leaving their nest box unattended. All the male house sparrow needs is a few seconds to commit his treachery.

2001 - 2012 nestbox camera

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Tufted titmouse at slabwood nest box Tufted titmouse leaving nest box with fecal sac

2022 update - Return of the barn owls
2021 Chimney Swift tower success!!!
2020 Barn Swallow nesting
Barn swallow nest cups
2019 Barn Swallows and Black Rat Snakes

2018 - The Barnyard Balance of Nature Goes Awry
Black rat snakes vs barn swallows, Northern flickers, kestrels and others

2018 Purple Martin preference for clam shells
2017 - Return of the Monarchs!
2017 Purple Martin prey photos
2010 - 2016 Northern flicker nestings
2014 house wren gourd use
2014 - A dramatic loss of many types of insects
2019-2020 Purple Martin nesting
2014 barn owl nesting - prey study
A new barn swallow shelter for 2013
2010 barn owl nesting
2010 Update
2016-2017 Kestrel nestings
Starling traps
Using blinds in the home habitat
Providing perches for birds
Providing snags for wildlife
The ugly young maple
2001 - 2013 nest cams
Use of tomato cages as hunting perches by insectivorous song birds
Vultures, beetles and the resurrection of life

Species of interest in our yard - photos and articles
barn owl American kestrel purple martin barn swallow Eastern bluebird
tufted titmouse Eastern phoebe yellow shafted flicker tree swallow chimney swift
house wren big brown bat Carolina wren brown thrasher catbird
cedar waxwing Northern mockingbird
Yellow warbler Acadian flycatcher

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