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Black-crested Titmouse


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A bird of Texas and northeastern Mexico, the Black-crested Titmouse is common in oak woods and towns. It was once considered a subspecies of the Tufted Titmouse, and the two species are very similar in appearance, voice, and habits.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
5.9 in
15 cm
9.4 in
24 cm
0.9 oz
26 g
Other Names
  • Tufted Titmouse (in part)
  • Mésange à plumet noir (French)

Cool Facts

  • The Black-crested Titmouse hybridizes with the Tufted Titmouse where their ranges overlap in central Texas. They were considered the same species for a while, but they are distinct genetically and vocally.
  • Differences in mitochondrial DNA suggest that the Black-crested Titmouse and Tufted Titmouse diverged about 250,000 years ago.
  • The oldest known Black-crested Titmouse was at least 5 years, 1 month old, when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Texas.



Forest, woodland, oak-juniper scrub, mesquite, thorn scrub, riparian woodland, and in towns.



Insects and seeds.


Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
4–9 eggs
Egg Description
White, finely speckled with reddish dots.
Condition at Hatching
Nest Description

Nest in hole in tree. Built of leaves, moss, dried grass, hair, strips of bark, and sometimes feathers. Lined with hair or similar material.

Nest Placement



Foliage Gleaner

Gleans insects from bark and foliage. Hangs upside down to reach insects. Holds food under feet to peck it.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

Populations of Black-crested Titmouse appear stable. According to the North American Breeding Bird Survey, numbers of Black-crested Titmouse and their close relatives, the Tufted Titmouse, steadily increased between 1966 and 2014. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 1 million with 52% living in the U.S., and 48% in Mexico. They are a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species, and rate a 10 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. They are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.


Range Map Help

Black-crested Titmouse Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Backyard Tips

This species often comes to bird feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about nest boxes on our Attract Birds pages. You'll find plans for building a nest box of the appropriate size on our All About Birdhouses site.



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