Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Black-Crested Titmouse

This guy has been coming round here in the mornings to beat the wrens to the mealworms. Early bird and all that.

He’s a black-crested titmouse, similar to the tufted titmouse, but found only in Oklahoma, Texas and Mexico. Apparently they used to be considered a separate race from the regular tufted titmice, not a separate species, but now they’re a separate species. The species also apparently hybridize where their ranges overlap, such as here in central Texas.

I finally saw him while I had happened to have my camera handy, but the focus is a bit off. Part of that is the distortion of shooting through the window. Part of that is the focus being off.

I’m enjoying trying to ID and photograph the birds that come through here. It’s a fun little hobby combining photography, research and blogging. Plus I can do it from home, which is nice when you don’t really feel like doing much after work.

Visit Transitions for a nice shot of a regular tufted titmouse.

Also, I and the Bird #45 is up at Journey Through Grace. Check it out.

Update: This post has been edited. I originally ID’d this bird as a tufted “black-crested” titmouse, but my bird book is seemingly out of date since the black-crested are now a separate genetically distinct species. Thanks to Mike at 10,000 Birds who called my attention to this in the comments. More can be found about these birds at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds site or Wikipedia. When I mentioned this to the actual bird, though, he told me just to call him Roger.


  1. James, the Black-crested Titmouse is currently considered a separate species. Baeolophus atricristatus was elevated from race to species not long ago. Some suspect it may one day be collapsed back into Tufted even though the two birds are distinct genetically and vocally.

    Adjust your life list accordingly!

  2. Mike, thanks for letting me know about the distinction between the black-crested and tufted titmouse. I’ve updated my post and list accordingly.

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