01.27.19: Fall titmouse

A Tufted Titmouse perches among fall leaves, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.


Technical information

Sept. 29, 2013,
10:04 a.m.

40°7'13" N 82°57'29.999" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EF 600mm f/4L, Canon 1.4x teleconverter (840mm) 


1/800th second


Wildlife photography in the fall provides a lot of distractions.

I’m scouring the trees and plants looking for birds but my eyes are pulled to leaves and vegetation displaying fall colors.

But sometimes it all comes together.

I saw this Tufted Titmouse perched in a tree on a late September morning, surrounded by leaves turning to an autumn yellow. The bird held its position, surveying the area while I grabbed a few shots.

I liked how the leaves and branches framed the bird, with the defocused yellow leaves in the background providing a sense of depth to the scene.

I tend to laugh when I’m taking a photo of a Tufted Titmouse. The large, round eyes, small bill and brushy crest give the bird a permanent “surprised” expression on its face.

Titmice are common in forests here in Central Ohio and are frequent visitors to feeders in the area during winter months. The birds always select the largest seed they can find, carry it to a nearby perch and hit it with their bill until the seed cracks open. Titmice also hoard food during the fall and winter months. They’ll take seeds from a feeder, open them, then store the food in cracks and crevices in nearby trees so they can be retrieved later.

During the summer, a titmouse will eat primarily insects.

When I see a titmouse during the fall or winter I know to expect to find chickadees and nuthatches nearby. The birds flock together during the winter months. And I’ve grabbed a number of winter photos of nuthatches and chickadees around the feeder where I found this titmouse.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.