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Juniper Titmouse

Baeolophus ridgwayi

Length: 5.75 inches Wingspan: 9 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: Grayish overall, slightly lighter on underparts, small crest, very short stubby bill

Juniper Titmouse - Baeolophus ridgwayiThe JuniperTitmouse and the Oak Titmouse used to be considered a single species, the "Plain Titmouse".  The two are very similar in appearance, but are separated by geographic range and preferred habitat. The Juniper Titmouse is in drier juniper habitats of the inland southwestern United States. The Oak Titmouse is found in warm, dry oak habitats, near the coast or around the Central Valley of California.  In appearance, the two are very similar. However, the Juniper Titmouse is typically "cooler" in color, lacking the brownish overtones to the grayish plumage that the Oak Titmouse has.

Habitat: Found in open juniper woodlands, particularly during the breeding season.  May utilize other nearby woodland habitats outside of the breeding season.

Diet: Feeds on insects, nuts, seeds, and berries.  Feeds heavily on the seeds of pinyon juniper.

Behavior: Forages by moving actively through the woodland foliage, hopping from branch to branch and actively searching for insects. 

Nesting: The Juniper Titmouse nests in cavities in trees, using either natural cavities or old woodpecker holes.  The nest is lined with softer material such as grasses, feathers, or animal hair.  The female lays between 5 and 8 eggs, and she alone incubates them.  When the eggs hatch, both parents help to raise the young.  The young leave the nest after about 18 days.

Song: The song of a Juniper Titmouse is a series of rapid whistled phrases, with phrases often given in groups of three.

Migration: Considered a permanent resident throughout its normal range.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Juniper Titmouse sightings

Similar Species: Oak Titmouse, Tufted Titmouse, Black-crested Titmouse

Feeders: Will attend feeders for various seeds and nuts, and for suet.

Conservation Status: Populations are considered stable, with no imminent threats to the species.  The IUCN lists the Juniper Titmouse as a species of "Least Concern".

Further Information: 1) - Juniper Titmouse

2) Whatbird - Juniper Titmouse

3) Cornell University's All About Birds - Juniper Titmouse

Photo Information: Photo taken by J.N. Stuart - April 18th, 2008 - Near Santa Fe, New Mexico - Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License


Click below for a higher-resolution map
Juniper Titmouse - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Non-resident in South Dakota

Additional Juniper Titmouse Photos (Coming soon!)