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Bird of the Week: Tufted Titmouse

Have you ever been standing in your yard or going on a hike at your local Metropark and heard a “peter, peter, peter” sound blaring out from the shrubs and trees around you?  If so, you heard the song of the tufted titmouse.  Standing at 5 ½ to 6 inches tall this gray, crested songbird with piercing black eyes and a black forehead is a year-round resident that frequently visits backyard bird feeders filled with sunflower seeds. Tufted Titmice are little seed hoarders and will stock-pile hulled sunflower seeds in a tree cache as close as 130 feet from the feeder location.  To remove the hull from the sunflower seed, the titmouse will take one seed in its beak at a time, perch on a branch holding the seed between its tiny bird feet and bang the seed open with its beak. All those sunflower seeds will give the tufted titmouse the energy it needs to make it through the cold winter.  So, if you haven’t put your bird feeder out yet, now is the time to do the tufted titmouse a solid and hang it up!

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