Despite the Juniper Titmouse's somber plumage, its behavior is bright and cheerful. This active little bird pecks and pries every crack with an enthusiasm plainly expressed by its raised crest. Juniper Titmice are very inquisitive-if a pair are in the woods, they will be attracted to the presence of all who enter. Until very recently, the Juniper Titmouse and the Oak Titmouse were considered one species: the Plain Titmouse. (The Oak Titmouse is found in western California.) 'Titmouse' is a term that reflects these birds' high-pitched calls and their mouse-like, scurrying habits.
I.D.: Sexes similar: uniform gray plumage; small visible crest; no wing bars or eye ring; dark eye.
Size: L 53/4 in. (15 cm).
Range: locally rare breeder in the southern U.S. Rockies.
Habitat: mature pinyon-juniper woodlands, ponderosa pine forests and riparian forests in the foothills.
Nesting: excavates a cavity in soft, rotting wood or uses a natural cavity or an abandoned woodpecker nest (chosen by the female); lines the nest with fur, feathers, moss and grass; female incubates 6-8 eggs for 14-16 days.
Feeding: gleans vegetation, branches and the ground for small insects and spiders; also eats seeds.
Voice: song is a clearly whistled witt-y witt-y witt-y; call is a chickadee-like tsick-a-dee-dee.
Similar Species: Bushtit: no crest; dark legs; brown cheek. Boreal Chickadee: black bib; gray-brown cap. Mountain Chickadee: black cap; white eyebrow; black bib.