Bird of the Week, November 11, 2011
Oak Titmouse

Oak Titmouse by Bill Hubrick


The Oak Titmouse was once lumped with the very similar Juniper Titmouse as a single species, the aptly named Plain Titmouse.  The two were split in 1996 based on distinct differences in their ranges and calls.


The Oak Titmouse is a small, nondescript, brownish-gray bird with a crest; its best field mark is its complete lack of distinctive field marks!  This titmouse is a non-migratory species; it mates for life, and pairs defend year-round territories. They nest in tree cavities, but will also use nest boxes.


Unfortunately, these birds depend upon a habitat that has declined by up to 50% over the last century due to development for housing and agriculture. The fungal disease, sudden oak death, has also killed thousands of oaks in this habitat in recent years.


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


Learn more and help ABC conserve this important habitat!



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Photo: Oak Titmouse by Bill Hubrick; Range Map, NatureServe