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Black-crested Titmouse Life History


Habitat ForestsForest, woodland, oak-juniper scrub, mesquite, thorn scrub, riparian woodland, and in towns.Back to top


Food InsectsInsects and seeds.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Cavity

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.

Nesting Facts

Clutch Size:4-7 eggs
Number of Broods:1-2 broods
Egg Length:0.6-0.8 in (1.62-2.02 cm)
Egg Width:0.5-0.6 in (1.27-1.43 cm)
Incubation Period:12-14 days
Egg Description:White, finely speckled with reddish dots.
Condition at Hatching:Helpless.
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Behavior Foliage GleanerGleans insects from bark and foliage. Hangs upside down to reach insects. Holds food under feet to peck it.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernPopulations 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.Back to top

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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Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. (2019). Longevity records of North American birds. Version 1019 Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2019.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Patten, Michael A. and Brenda D. Smith-Patten. (2008). Black-crested Titmouse (Baeolophus atricristatus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center (2014b). Available from

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, USA.

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