Oak Titmouse Chicks Hatching

by Larry Jordan on April 18, 2010

Oak Titmouse In Nest photos by Larry Jordan

This is a series of photos of my newest 2010 arrivals on the bluebird trails, the Oak Titmouse.  They are always the first to nest on my trails.

The first photo was taken after I had checked the nest box and found five tiny chicks, mouths agape, waiting for a meal.  I had left the camera in the car and by the time I got back to the nest, the adult was back, brooding.

When I checked the nest box four days later I found these seven chicks (five obvious mouths agape, one back left you can just see the tip of the beak and one whos beak you can see in the middle, underneath the others)

And this shot I took this afternoon, the chicks are nine days old

I found an exceptional video of the Tufted Titmouse, which is the eastern version of Titmouse, created by Paul Murray, showing the entire nesting cycle of this bird, from nest hunting to fledging.  It is a nine minute video but well worth watching if you want to see what really goes on inside a nest box.  Click on Paul’s link above to view the video.

If you want to see more great bird photos, check out Bird Photography Weekly.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

NicoleB, Egypt April 19, 2010 at 12:02 am

Great shots and finds, Larry!
.-= NicoleB, Egypt´s last blog ..Birding and the Tourist police in Sharm el Sheikh =-.


eileen April 19, 2010 at 12:54 am

How cute, you must get to see a lot of baby birds taking care of the bluebird trail. I have a pair of bluebirds nesting in my yard and I love seeing them everyday.
.-= eileen´s last blog ..Toucan mosaic. =-.


Bob K April 19, 2010 at 2:09 am

Sooo cute!!!! I hope you can photograph them when they’re about to leave the nest.
.-= Bob K´s last blog ..Valley Cashew =-.


Jill April 19, 2010 at 9:54 am

awww! nestlings! I have definitely not had my fix of baby birds this year, so this helps! Love the photos, Larry!
.-= Jill´s last blog ..Pacific Gopher Snake =-.


chris April 19, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Hi Larry,
Wow 9, that’s cool… Do they all survive?? Let’s hope so, this is really cute to get some nice babies like this in a garden nest… Well done and keep us update!!
.-= chris´s last blog ..Windy Bakkatjörn…. =-.


Neil April 19, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Great photos hope they all survive.
.-= Neil´s last blog ..Tawny Frogmouth =-.


Wren April 19, 2010 at 3:42 pm

OMG, Larry, you pegged the cute meter with these photos. Mom’s just as adorable as her babies.
.-= Wren´s last blog ..can groundhogs swim? 2010 edition for myworld =-.


Larry April 19, 2010 at 7:47 pm

@Nicole thanks for the comment. The photos are easy to get as I check the nest boxes every week once the birds begin building nests. I just make sure that I don’t disturb the adult if they are sitting in the nest (although the Oak Titmouse doesn’t budge off her nest).

@Eileen I do get to see lots of baby birds every year. Aren’t the Bluebirds a delight to have in your yard? You are one of the lucky ones!

@Bob they are very cute for sure. I will try to get some shots of them leaving the nest if I can. The 9 minute video mentioned in the post is one of the best videos I have ever seen showing the Titmouse raising their young. I hope people go watch it

@Jill thanks. I love watching the little critters grow. I will probably post some Western Bluebird shots in the future, and maybe some Tree Swallows!

@Chris there are 7 chicks in this nest and I’m pretty sure they will all survive. They usually do. The Oak Titmouse adults are very persistent and very attentive to their young.

@Neil thanks. This is one of the most successful species I have breeding on my trails

@Wren thank you so much. They are very cute and I agree, the parents are just as cute!


Mick April 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Great photos and such cute baby birds! Is it usual for those birds to have such a large number of young?
.-= Mick´s last blog ..Garden Birds =-.


Larry April 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm

@Mick they can lay from 3 to 9 eggs in a clutch but most commonly 6 or 7


Maria Berg April 21, 2010 at 5:20 am


so lovely to see the young birds screaming after food and then fall asleep. I do hope I will see some bays birds this year. I have 3 new birdhouse in my garden this year (And I do want more – I will build some. I bought wood now I only have to build them)

I did learn two new word from you “plumage iridescent” but I will say that The European Starling, Common Starling , Sturnus vulgaris)do shine more then Turdus merula
.-= Maria Berg´s last blog ..233. Rastplats =-.


Lana April 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm

GREAT capture! Thanks for sharing the little darlings. 🙂
.-= Lana´s last blog ..Fontainebleau vs. Swamp Tour =-.


NatureFooostep Fåglar/Birds April 21, 2010 at 11:33 pm

this is sooo beautiful. I have never been able to spot any nest like that. You are one lucky man. 🙂
.-= NatureFooostep Fåglar/Birds´s last blog ..Fiskgjuse – Pandion haliaetus – Osprey =-.


Mumsy April 22, 2010 at 2:53 am

Wow..what a great find! They look so soft and fuzzy! Great shot!!
.-= Mumsy´s last blog ..N is For Naughty =-.


phil April 22, 2010 at 8:03 am

Hi Larry, good to see your birds doing well. Do you record the nest data as we do for the BTO Nest Record Scheme over here? Also do you band the young? I Look forward to looking into your Bluebird boxes
.-= phil´s last blog ..We’ll Wheat Again =-.


Larry April 22, 2010 at 9:29 pm

@Maria glad to hear you will be putting up more nest boxes. Having song birds in your yard is the best insecticide you can have

@Lana thank you, you aare very welcome

@NF this nest is in a birdhouse but you can find bird nests in nature if you watch the bird behavior for a while during nesting season. I have actually been able to see several species mating

@Mumsy thanks for stopping by with a nice comment

@Phil I am the Shasta County Coordinator for the California Bluebird Recovery Program (CBRP) and I record the nest box data which gets sent to Cornell Lab of Ornithology for their records. I also send any other nesting data on nests I find in nature (like this Red-tailed Hawk nest) to Cornell Lab using their Nest Watch program.

I do not have a banding permit so I am unable to band them. I will be posting some Western Bluebird, Ash-throated Flycatcher and Tree Swallow posts as they come up during breeding season. I love this time of year!


Leslie April 27, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I have some chicks squawking away in my birdhouse for the first year and I’m thrilled. I just watched the video and it was great….now I know how it all came to be in my own birdhouse. It’s just thrilling to hear them. I hope I’m home to watch them take flight. Thanks for the pics and video. I’m new to watching birds and am fascinated.


Beatrice May 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I came across a nest in my birdhouse, and only heard 1 bird chirping. I looked inside and saw the other 5 had died…. I took the 1 and tried to save it, but it died later on in the night. So sad. But it looked exactly like these that you photographed. Thanks for sharing these pics.


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