Ben here with the Monday edition of #BenInNature!

Ben here with the Monday edition of #BenInNature!

Ben here with the Monday edition of #BenInNature! The tufted titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) is a lively little bird you're probably seeing at your feeder right now! These birds are members of the chickadee family (Paridae) and can be found year-round in the eastern half of the U.S. Much like other chickadees, tufted titmice don't always eat the seeds at your birdfeeder; many times, they'll take one seed at a time, fly it to food cache that's probably within about 100 feet of the feeder, shell the seed, and then hide it for later in the winter. If you'd like to attract them to your feeder, they prefer sunflower seeds but they'll eat many different kinds of seeds.

For such a small bird, the tufted titmouse has a surprisingly loud song, and you're likely to hear one before you see it. The song is described as a whistling "peter-peter-peter."

You can attract these birds by putting up birdhouses. They nest in holes in trees, but they can't excavate the cavities themselves, so they have to rely on woodpecker holes in dead trees and other natural crevices. A quality bird house will work in a pinch! This is also a good reason to leave dead trees standing on your property (as long as they aren't about to fall over and crush your Buick, of course), since many different birds and other animals rely on dead trees for food and shelter.

ABOUT #BenInNature
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends.

If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!

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