Juniper Titmouse

By Eileen Richardson

The Juniper Titmouse is a plain gray bird with a prominent black eye and a crest of gray feathers on its head. It is a small songbird, but the long body, short neck, and medium-long tail makes it appear bigger than it is. A short crest gives the fairly large head a pointed silhouette. The short bill is fairly thick and round.

They mate for life and like other members of the chickadee family the Juniper Titmouse sticks around all winter and will come to seed and suet feeders. In the fall, they stash seeds in the crevices of tree bark to eat later. They are partial to pinyon nuts. New Mexico is the perfect habitat for this bird as they favor pinyon and juniper woodlands of the interior west. The Juniper Titmouse occurs in pinyon pine and juniper woodlands from about 2,250-8,000 feet. These cavity-nesting birds tend to nest in mature woodlands, where older pinyon and juniper trees offer a ready supply of cavities for nesting.

The Juniper Titmouse is a cavity nester so will benefit from nesting boxes which they will often also use for roosting on cold winter nights. Juniper Titmice are acrobats of the pinyon-juniper forest. Their strong feet allow them to hang upside down from branches while they forage for seeds and insects. They hop and fly in an undulating motion between trees and shrubs.

Juniper Titmice visit sunflower and suet feeders especially in areas with shrub and tree cover. So it would be wise if you want to watch these little acrobats to set up you viewing area with these things in mind.
Juniper Titmice use nest boxes, so consider putting one up in your yard. Try to have it ready before the breeding season begins and attach a predator guard if possible.

So although this little bird is not one of colorful plumage or markings, it is fun to watch their acrobatic prowess.