Titmouse Baby Struggles to Swallow Large Meal

Over the past week, I’ve been observing and photographing a pair of tufted titmice that nested in one of my backyard birdhouses. These energetic little birds with grey bodies, white bellies, and punky crests are a joy to watch.

Earlier this week, I thought the titmouse babies had finally fledged and left the nest. But yesterday morning, I spotted one of the parents visiting the birdhouse and feeding a chick. I managed to capture the adult titmouse placing some food into the gaping mouth of the baby. From what I could see, the meal appeared to be the tail end of a large moth or other insect. The fuzzy baby titmouse struggled to swallow the sizable morsel, despite the adult’s efforts to push it down the chick’s throat. After two tries, the baby hadn’t managed to choke it down.

A Young Tufted Titmouse Being Fed
A Young Tufted Titmouse Being Fed

Later in the day, I observed one of the parent birds return to the birdhouse, emerge with the uneaten moth tail in its beak, and fly off, presumably to try again with a smaller, more manageable bite. Even at this stage, the titmouse parents are attentive providers, catering to the needs of their still-dependent fledgling.

Tufted Titmouse Removing Food From Birdhouse
Tufted Titmouse Removing Food From Birdhouse

It’s been an absolute joy watching this titmouse family grow over the past few weeks. I feel lucky to have had a front row seat to their nesting activities. I’ll miss my little visitors when the babies finally leave the nest for good. For now, I’ll keep my camera ready to capture more antics of these charismatic backyard birds!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my encounter with the Tufted Titmice as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you. Stay tuned for more exciting wildlife adventures in the future. Happy birdwatching and cherishing the beauty of nature all around us!

Steve Creek
Wildlife Photographer

Be sure to check out the other posts I have made in reference to these birds:

Tufted Titmouse’s Triumph Over House Sparrows

Tufted Titmouse Brings Food For Their Young

Tufted Titmouse Nesting Update

Nesting Tufted Titmouse Update: Baby Birds

Equipment Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM

Technical Details: First Photo

  • Location: Lavaca (Arkansas)
  • Date and Time Taken: July 20, 2023 (08:38 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f8
  • Shutter speed: 1/800
  • ISO: 3200 (Auto)
  • Exp. Comp.: +0.3
  • Focal Length: 500 mm

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