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Oak Titmouse Baeolophus inornatus (Parus inornatus)


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Oak Titmouse
credit: Alan Vernon/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Alternate name: Plain Titmouse

Family: Paridae, Chickadees and Titmice view all from this family

Description ADULT Has plain and unmarked warm gray-brown upperparts including tail; note the short but distinct crest. Underparts are pale gray, with a subtle or barely visible pinkish or warm buffy wash on flanks. Bill is pointed and gray, and legs are dark gray. Subtle plumage variation exists within the species' range and several subspecies are recognized. JUVENILE Similar to adult.

Dimensions Length: 5-5 1/2" (13-14 cm)

Habitat Fairly common resident within its rather limited range on the Pacific slopes of California and Oregon; although by no means restricted to oak woodland, this is its favored habitat.

Observation Tips For beginners, geographical range is the best initial clue to separation from Juniper Titmouse, especially since both species are rather sedentary in their habits. Get to know this species first in areas where it does not overlap with Juniper.

Range Northwest, California

Voice Song comprises a varied range of whistling notes including peechew; calls include a sharp tsi-chrr.

Discussion Charming little titmouse with rather nondescript plumage. Obvious titmouselike structure and absence of any striking plumage features are good clues to separate it from most other species, except Juniper Titmouse, with which it was formerly considered conspecific. For separation from that species, note subtle differences in plumage and more distinct differences in habitat preference and geographical range. Sometimes seen in small parties outside the breeding season and occasionally joins roving mixed-species flocks. Sexes are similar.