Friday, July 21, 2023

Irresistible! Attract Tufted Titmouse to Your Feeder

Whether you call them Tufted Titmice or Tufted Titmouses, these cute little birds are a joy to have at your bird feeder! They readily visit bird feeders across the eastern United States.

How do you attract Tufted Titmice to your feeder? Follow these suggestions to attract Tufted Titmice to your yard.

Photo of Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse. Richard Cane. Flickr. Public Domain.

Why attract Tufted Titmice to your bird feeder?

Tufted Titmice are interesting, entertaining and social birds. They aren't overly afraid of people. Thus, they visit backyards regularly. They'll soon become one of your favorite feeder birds.

They are especially attracted to feeders in winter. If there are any in your neighborhood, it won't be long until they find your feeder.

They switch to eating insects in summer. They eat ants, beetles, wasps and caterpillars in your yard. That's an added benefit.

Even if you don't see them, they give themselves away with their songs and calls. In spring they sing a loud whistled: Peter-Peter-Peter! At other times of year they call back and forth with nasal calls and chickadee-like sounds.

Their numbers are increasing. They are expanding their range northward to southeastern Canada. Your bird feeders are making this range expansion possible. You are providing food to help them survive in winter so they can breed in spring!

The Tufted Titmouse is a year-round resident. If they come to your feeder in winter, look for them all year round. They nest in old woodpecker holes and in nest boxes. Wouldn't a family of titmice liven up your yard?

Photo of Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse. Rodney Campbell. Flickr. CC-BY-2.0

What foods will attract Tufted Titmice to your feeder?

Tufted Titmice love sunflower seeds. Black oil sunflower seed is preferred, but they will eat striped sunflowers and sunflower kernels.

These birds also love peanut pieces or whole peanuts out of the shell.

They will eat acorns and beech nuts, too.

Did you know? Tufted Titmice tend to eat the largest seeds they can find at your feeder.

The best mixed bird seed that I have found is Wagner's Songbird Supreme (Amazon affiliate link). It is 50% sunflower seeds and doesn't have any cheap filler seed that birds won't eat. There are lesser amounts of peanut pieces, safflower seed, and millet. This seed attracts the largest variety of birds to your feeder.

Suet is also a favorite winter food of the Tufted Titmouse. They will like those with nuts, berries, or peanut-butter flavor.

For my home feeders, I always purchase St Albans Bay Suet blocks (Amazon affiliate link). It comes in several flavors, including peanut and berry. They fit in required special suet cages, which are a type of bird feeder. 

Photo of Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse. John Brighenti. Flickr. CC-BY-2.0

What kind of feeders do Tufted Titmice like?

Tufted Titmice are not too particular about the type of bird feeder they like. It's more about the food than the feeder. These birds just aren't all that particular about either one. That's why they are such a favorite feeder bird. So easy to attract!

Thus, the common hopper feeder is just fine for them. They'll also eat from platform feeders and tube feeders.

I really love the way my iBorn tube feeder (Amazon affiliate link) looks, with it's copper top.  A screwdriver takes off the lower perch and opens it up for cleaning. This feeder filled with black oil sunflower seeds attracts all types of finches, chickadees, and nuthatches. The smaller perches and lack of tray mean that you'll have fewer House Sparrows, Starlings, Doves, and Jays at this feeder.

And they'll eat from suet feeders in winter, too. A regular suet cage is fine. But if Starlings or jays are a problem at your suet feeder, consider an upside-down-suet feeder.

I bought a Nature's Way Upside-down suet feeder (Amazon affiliate link) a couple years ago and have been very happy with it. Chickadees, nuthatches, bushtits, and woodpeckers eat from it easily. But starlings, blackbirds, and jays can't hang upside down to get at the suet.

I created this video to accompany this article:

Where to place your bird feeder for Tufted Titmice

An ideal feeder for Tufted Titmice would be one about 5 feet high and placed about 15 feet out from your house with a small tree next to it. Birds will fly first to the tree (a staging perch) before landing on the feeder. Keeping the feeder raised prevents sneak cat attacks.

Once they know the feeder is save, though, they'll likely fly directly to it. They aren't shy.

They'll come to deck railing and even window feeders. So, any placement of feeders is fine. Pole mounted, hanging, it doesn't matter with these tolerant birds.

One big consideration for feeder placement is that you can see it from your favorite viewing window. What window will you be watching birds from? From you living room easy chair? Kitchen window while cooking? Sliding glass door? Make sure you can see it!

Photo of Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse. Sergiy Galyonkin. Flickr. CC-BY-SA-2.0

How else can you attract Tufted Titmice to your yard?

Tufted Titmice will come to yards with deciduous trees, especially taller ones. They'll search for summer insects in these trees.

In fall and winter they may eat berries and nuts. They are attracted to elderberry, oak, beech, hickory, and pine for the berries and nuts.

You can attract Tufted Titmice to your yard with water. They especially like moving water, such as a fountain. But they will come to bird baths for bathing and drinking.

Make sure that the bird bath is shallow (1/2 inch of water, not filled 2 inches deep!) and that it isn't slippery. Try not to use one of those pretty glazed bird baths. The birds may not like them. The traditional cement bird bath is best, but a roughed plastic surface is fine, too.

They'll do just fine with a shallow dish of water, such as a terracotta earthenware saucer normally found under a flower pot. As these are small birds they might like to wade in. So keep the water to a half inch deep or less.

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Photo of Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse. Anne773. Pixabay

Problems with Tufted Titmice: If you have attracted too many to your feeder

You shouldn't ever have a problem attracting too many Tufted Titmice.

But sometimes local authorities may warn of birds falling ill to communicable diseases. These are usually spread by finches and siskins that feed in huge flocks. But such finch illnesses can spread to other birds. 

In this case, you should stop feeding all birds for at least 2 weeks. Do this also if you see dead or lethargic birds around your feeder. Take your feeders down and wash them with a mild bleach solution.

About the only foods that titmice don't eat is Niger seed from a thistle feeder and nectar from a hummingbird feeder. Otherwise, Tufted Titmice will eat just about any foods that other feeder birds eat.

Tufted Titmice FAQ

Ask questions in the comments below about attracting and feeding Tufted Titmice and I'll add the answer here!


Why aren't birds coming to your feeder?

First in series: Irresistible! Attract Mourning Doves to your feeder

Next in series: Irresistible! Attract Red-winged Blackbird to your feeder

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