Tufted titmice are a common occurrence in my backyard; perhaps the most common. I still appreciate the small birds, no matter how many of them I’ve seen. Titmice are not known for their vocal prowess, but I’ve heard a lot of different songs and calls come from them. They have quite a range of sounds. Yet another reason to like these little birds.
(Repeat text for context: I’m running out of COVID-19 lockdown themes so from now until things get back to some semblance of normalcy, I will simply post my best photo from the previous day. You could say it fits because of its uncertainty and challenge. I’ll call the series “A Day on Merganser Lake,” even though that’s not the real name of the lake I live near in southwestern Connecticut, it’s just a nod to my favorite duck family.)
Scenes like this are quickly fading as winter starts to creep into New England. These coneflowers have lingered into late fall because I purchased them at a box hardware store on clearance a few weeks ago. I’m hoping the flowers return next year, but until then I’m enjoying their later-than-usual blooms. The birds are, too, of course.
Photo by Chris Bosak A tufted titmouse contemplates grabbing a peanut from a deck railing following a snowstorm in Danbury, Conn., Feb. 2017.
Here’s another leftover snow shot from last week’s storm. Titmice were the second-most reliable sighting in the backyard during and after the storm(s). Junco was the best most reliable with dozens in the backyard at any given time.
Photo by Chris Bosak A Tufted Titmouse tries to figure out how to pick up a peanut off a deck railing in Danbury, Conn., in the fall of 2016.
I am entertained by birds doing just about anything, but one of my favorite sights in the backyard is watching birds grab peanuts and fly off to store or eat them. I put a handful or two of peanuts on a platform feeder or on the deck railing itself and wait for the birds to discover them.
If the Blue Jays arrive first, forget it, the peanuts will be gone in a matter of minutes. Same goes for the Red-bellied Woodpecker. One or two of them empty the feeder in minutes, too.
I like when smaller birds, such as the Tufted Titmouse above, go after the peanuts. Their bills aren’t large enough to simply fly in, grab the nut and take off. They need to pick the right peanut and position it just right to grab it.
If you’ve never tried offering peanuts in the shell to birds, give it a shot. It has great entertainment value.
Photo by Chris Bosak A Tufted Titmouse grabs a sunflower seed from a feeder in Danbury, Conn., summer 2016.
Yes, yesterday was the last hummingbird photo in the series. This was the reaction of this Tufted Titmouse when it found out the news.
But in all seriousness, I don’t typically feed birds in summer, mostly because by June all I’m getting are squirrels, chipmunks and House Finches. Every so often, though, I put some sunflowers seeds on a platform and see what will show up. It didn’t take long for the titmice, chickadees and nuthatches to show up.