Family: Paridae, Chickadees and Titmice view all from this family
Description ADULT Has mainly soft gray upperparts, with striking markings on face: black border to rear and side of crest, continuing as black line framing edges of nape; face is pale overall, but with black line through eye, framing edge of ear coverts and linking with black throat. Underparts are soft, pale gray. JUVENILE Similar, but black elements of facial markings are paler and less distinct, and crest is shorter.
Dimensions Length: 4 1/2 -5" (11-13 cm)
Habitat A mainly Mexican species whose resident range extends into Arizona and New Mexico where it is locally common in mountains. Favors oak woodland for much of year, but sometimes undertakes altitudinal migration to lower elevations in winter.
Observation Tips Fairly easy to find if you visit the right habitats, but since birds form roving flocks outside breeding season you may have to search for a while to find them. Learn the distinctive calls and listen for these to detect species' presence.
Range Rocky Mountains, Southwest
Voice Song is a series of whistled peed notes; calls include a chickadeelike tsika-dee-deed.
Discussion Dainty little titmouse with distinctive and diagnostic "bridled" facial markings and pronounced crest that can be raised to near vertical. Forages for insects among foliage and nests in tree holes. Often found in family groups outside breeding season, which sometimes consolidate and form part of mixed-species flocks. Sexes are similar.