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Tufted Titmouse - What's in a Name?

Perky, petite, elegant -- and acrobatic!
© Kristi DeCourcy View Large

A Tufted Titmouse has just about everything you could ask for in a backyard bird. Petite and strikingly elegant, it’s as perky as a chickadee. In fact, it’s a cousin to the chickadee.  And as it comes boldly to your seed or suet feeders, the Tufted Titmouse will even hang upside down like an acrobat. So what’s in that peculiar name, “titmouse”? The name descends from two ancient Anglo-Saxon root words — “tit,” from a word meaning something small. And “mouse,” from a word applied to any small bird, as well as that little rodent.
Support for BirdNote comes from Audubon Park Wild Bird Food, owned by a bird-loving family for 60 years. Info, and why bird-loving runs in familes, at audubonpark.com.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®  

Tufted Titmouse - What’s in a Name?

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.   
[Deciduous NE woodlands + typical song of Tufted Titmouse]
This rhythmic, whistled song is a quintessential sound of woodlands in the Eastern US. But few birds are more ready to visit your back yard, than its singer, the Tufted Titmouse.
[Tufted Titmouse typical song]
And it’s a fine thing that they do, because a Tufted Titmouse has just about everything you could ask for in a backyard bird. Petite and strikingly elegant, it has a jaunty crest and a silver-hued back set off by salmon orange flanks. (Its snappy image adorns many a bag of birdseed.) It’s as perky as a chickadee [call of Black-capped Chickadee] – in fact it’s a cousin to the chickadee [repeat call of Black-capped Chickadee]. And as it comes boldly to sample your seed or suet feeders, the Tufted Titmouse will even hang upside down like an acrobat.
Like to see even more of your local titmice? Put up a nestbox with a small opening. You might even see three birds attending the nest, as one of last year’s brood sometimes stays on as a helper.
[Tufted Titmouse calls – we used song instead; calls are too high for radio]
But what’s in that peculiar name, “titmouse”? Well, it turns out the name descends from two ancient Anglo-Saxon root words. “Tit,” from a word meaning something small. And “mouse,” from a word applied to any small bird, as well as that little rodent. [Tufted Titmouse typical song]
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
                    ###
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song of Tufted Titmouse [94271]recorded by
Ambient is Nature SFX # 51 Essentials recorded by Gordon Hempton of QuietPlanet.com.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org    May 2018   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#        TUTI-01-2014-05-21     TUTI-01        

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