When I’m picking out birds to feature in these articles, I’m sometimes sad that so many of them are found in locations I may never get to visit in person.
I don’t even think it’s necessarily that North America’s birds are boring. They’re just so familiar to me that I forget how special they are and that people in other parts of the world may like to see them.
So in an effort to do better, may I present to you the Tufted Titmouse.
Look at that incredible ‘do!
Normally, I would avoid photos that are edited in posts as much as this one is, but the blurred background and sharpening of the subject itself doesn’t detract too much from the amazing expression and crest of this little tough guy.
These guys are members of the chickadee family and are common backyard birds.
They make their home in much of the south-eastern United States, though their range has slowly been extending northward along the east coast thanks to shifts in climate and an abundance of backyard bird feeders.
Tough little acrobats, tufted titmice tend to bully other species of birds in order to get first dibs at a full feeder.
They often hang upside down to get at seeds and will always choose the largest ones they can find. To get through the shells, they hold the seed between their feet and bash it open with their beak like little badasses.
If you live in their range, you probably already know how tame and curious they are.
It’s not uncommon for tufted titmice to come right up to humans to get a better look and they’ve even been known to steal fur right off live animals’ backs when building their nests.