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common name for members of the Paridae, a family of passerine birds, which includes the tits, titmice, and chickadees. They are small, active birds with short, pointed bills and strong legs. Their soft, thick plumage is colored in grays and browns, occasionally highlighted by black and white or blue and yellow. Titmice are found chiefly in the Northern Hemisphere and also in Asia and Africa. They are adaptable and can be taught to perform tricks. In the wild, titmice travel in mixed flocks with nuthatches, creepers, kinglets, and woodpeckers, feeding mostly on small insects but also on seeds, fruits, and berries. Typical of the family are the blackcapped chickadee, Parus atricapillus, of the NE United States, the nearly identical Carolina chickadee of the South, and the similar willow tit of Europe and the British Isles. Some titmice have crests, e.g., the crested tit of Eurasia and the tufted titmouse, Lophophanes bicolor, a mouse-gray bird with rust side patches common in the E United States. These typical titmice nest in tree cavities; the long-tailed tits weave complex bag nests. To this group belongs the Javanese pygmy tit (3 in./7.5 cm long, most of it tail); the bush tits of the American West are closely related. A third group, the penduline tits, are named for their hanging bag nests; the only American species is the western verdin. Titmice are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Paridae.



the generic name of several species of tits of the genus Parus, order Passeriformes.

The titmouse is a small bird with fluffy brown-gray plumage. Its head has a dark “little cap," black or dark gray, and there is a black or gray brown spot on its throat. It is found throughout Europe, Asia (south of the forest-tundra to the Mediterranean region, Iran, and China), and North America. It inhabits various types of forests, as well as bottomland thickets and gardens. It nests in hollows, laying 6-10 eggs, and eats insects, including harmful ones, thus benefiting forest management. There are four species in the USSR: the willow tit (P. montanus), the marsh tit (P. palustris), the Siberian tit (P. cinctus), and the somber tit (P. lugubris).


any small active songbird of the family Paridae, esp those of the genus Parus (see tit)
References in periodicals archive ?
Placed in tube-shaped, metal-mesh feeders, peanuts will entice woodpeckers, jays, chickadees, titmice, bushtits, nuthatches, brown creepers, wrens, kinglets, Northern mockingbirds, brown thrashers, starlings, and yellowrumped and pine warblers.
Add nesting boxes to attract cavity-nesting birds, such as chickadees, titmice, nuthatches and wrens.
Nuthatches, chickadees and titmice aren't gobbling up all that seed they snatch from your feeders.
Tufted titmice occurred less often in recently burned sites (1H and 1L) than at sites in the third season post-fire (3H and 3L).
In a section on morphic fields, we're told how Dutch titmice retained the knowledge of how to rip the caps off milk bottles even during the war years, when bottles remained unavailable for a period far exceeding the birds' lifespan.
We installed a concrete birdbath (soon to be replaced by a more effective dripper), and began by planting an array of sunflowers, which attract chickadees, cardinals, titmice, nuthatches and buntings, as well as bees.
system whereby milkmen delivered milk in open-top bottles from which both the titmice and robins learned to siphon cream.
Near the mouth of Happy Valley, cardinals chased through trees, and calls of titmice unwound like springs.
Bridled titmice and ruby-crowned kinglets give mobbing calls that are nearly identical.
One of the newest and most popular mirrors is called Songbirds and features tufted titmice, acorns and leaf designs.