Oak Titmouse

Baeolophus inornatus

Formerly lumped with the Juniper Titmouse as the species known appropriately as Plain Titmouse, the Oak Titmouse is small drab bird whose small head tuft is nearly its only field mark.

Interesting Information

  • The Oak Titmouse sleeps in cavities or in dense foliage. When roosting in foliage, the titmouse chooses a twig surrounded by dense foliage or an accumulation of dead pine needles, simulating a roost in a cavity.

  • The Oak Titmouse mates for life, and pairs defend year-round territories. Most titmice find a mate in their first fall. Those that do not are excluded from territories and must live in marginal habitat until they find a vacancy.

  • The Oak Titmouse, unlike other members of the family, does not form flocks in winter.

  • A group of titmice are collectively known as a "banditry" and a "dissimulation" of titmice.


Adult Description

Small gray bird with small tuft on head.

  • Length Range: 13 cm (5.25 in)

  • Weight: 20 g (0.7 oz)

  • Size: Small (5 - 9 in)

Sex Differences

Sexes Similar


Juvenile similar to adult, but feathers are softer and more loosely textured.


Photo taken from: The Sibley Field Guide by David Allen Sibley

© 2003 Cornell Lab of Ornithology


Warm, dry oak and oak-pine woodlands at low to mid-elevations.


Gleans insects from bark and foliage. Hangs upside down. Hammers seeds against branch to open them.


Seeds and terrestrial invertebrates. Uses bird feeders.



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
     Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paridae
Genus: Baeolophus
Species: Baeolophus inornatus
    Subspecies: Baeolophus inornatus affabilis
  Baeolophus inornatus cineraceus
  Baeolophus inornatus cineraceus
  Baeolophus inornatus mohavensis

Similar Species

  • Nearly identical to Juniper Titmouse. Slightly larger; more brown on back. Ranges overlap only in small area in California.

  • Tufted Titmouse, which does not overlap in range, has whiter belly, rusty flanks, and black on the forehead.

Bird Sound

Song a series of repeated whistled notes, with first syllable higher in pitch than the following one. Calls a scratchy "tsicka-dee-dee."

Eggs look like this

Photo taken from: ARCTOS Collaborative Collection Management Solution