The Oak Titmouse is a small, brown-tinged gray bird with small tuft or crest. The face is plain, and the undersides are a lighter grey. Both sexes are similar. The Oak Titmouse and Juniper Titmouse appear almost identical, but differ in voice as well as range. The Oak Titmouse has a browner back than the Juniper Titmouse.


Habitat and Distribution

This species lives year-round on the Pacific slope, resident from southern Oregon south through California west of the Sierra Nevada to Baja California, but its range surrounds the central San Joaquin Valley. It prefers open woodlands of warm, dry oak and oak-pine at low to mid-elevations. The Oak Titmouse will sleep in cavities, dense foliage or birdhouses.


Feeding

Oak Titmice eat insects and spiders, caught in midair. They also take berries, acorns, and some seeds. They forage on foliage, twigs, branches, and ground, hanging upside down, they hammer seeds against branches.


Breeding

The Oak Titmouse builds its nest in a woodpecker hole, a natural cavity, or a nest box, using grass, moss, mud, hair, feathers, and fur. It breeds from March into July, with peak activity in April and May. Between 3 to 9 eggs are laid. The female is the primary incubator, and incubation takes 14 to 16 days.


Calls and Songs

The call is a scratchy tsicka-dee-dee. The song of the Oak Titmouse is a series of repeated whistled notes of three to seven syllables.