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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 ?
g, Johnson and Johnson, 1985), and this may be the cause of hybrid-like variations on the titmouse crest and foreheads outside of the hybrid zone.
This may explain why Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, and White-breasted Nuthatch had the greatest frequency of visits at large, high oil content seeds after adjusting to feeder rotation during the study conducted in conjunction with Trial 3.
Members of the titmouse family (Paridae), small, plump, and aggressive chickadees are full of personality.
The sharp decline in the number of Tufted Titmouse territories is consistent in both magnitude and timing with WNV being a cause, as has been proposed for Parid populations elsewhere (Bonter and Hochachka 2003).
The black-capped chickadee and tufted titmouse preferred the hanging feeder, the house sparrow preferred the ground feeder, and the blue jay did not have a preference for location.
Alternatively, frequent prescribed burning, timber harvest, and hardwood reduction may negatively impact some species, including tufted titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) (9), ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus), red-eyed vireo (10), and black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia; 5).
On one cold morning, as I sat with bow in hand and an arrow nocked, a titmouse tried to extract a bug from my arrow.
To test his theory, Wilson examined a well-documented case involving two common English garden birds: the titmouse and the red robin.
Fifteen feet up in a sturdy oak, gently rocking in a sunny breeze, I am discovered by a titmouse, who on a trip through the canopy has seen me move.
While a male cardinal offered sunflower seeds to a female perched in a lilac, a titmouse plucked buds from dogwood and fed his mate.