WatchList Species Account for Oak Titmouse
(Baeolophus inornatus)

Qualifies for the list as a Declining Yellow List Species


Oak Titmouse

Photo: Tom Grey

Until recently, taxonomists considered this species and the Juniper Titmouse to be conspecifics under the name Plain Titmouse.


The Oak Titmouse is found principally in oak or oak-pine woodlands of the Pacific slope of California, barely getting into Oregon and Baja California at the opposite ends of its range. One of the most common and characteristic birds of the oak woodlands in California, this bird depends on a habitat which has suffered up to a 50% decline in the last century.


Factors responsible for its decline are the explosive growth of the human population, and clearing of habitat for agriculture and rangeland. Recently a fungal disease, Sudden Oak Death, has killed thousands of oaks in this bird's habitat,, though over the short-term this may be beneficial, since the Oak Titmouse needs cavities in dead trees for nesting.


Since over 80% of oak woodlands in California are privately owned, education and cooperation between landowners and resource managers is a necessary part of the Oak Titmouse’s conservation.