At a Glance

Plain and drab but full of personality, the Juniper Titmouse enlivens pinyon-juniper woods of the interior of the west. Until recently, this and the very similar Oak Titmouse were considered one species, under the name of Plain Titmouse.
Chickadees and Titmice, Perching Birds
Low Concern
Forests and Woodlands, Shrublands, Savannas, and Thickets
California, Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Texas
Direct Flight, Flitter, Undulating

Range & Identification

Migration & Range Maps

Permanent resident, seldom wandering very far from the areas where it nests.


5 3/4" (15 cm). A plain grayish bird with a short crest. Very similar to Oak Titmouse, usually a bit grayer (less brownish). Best identified by range, entirely separate except very locally in northeast California.
About the size of a Robin
Wing Shape
Tail Shape
Rounded, Square-tipped

Songs and Calls

Harsh see-dee-dee.
Call Pattern
Call Type
Buzz, Chirp/Chip, Hi, Whistle


Pinyon-juniper woodland; locally river woods, shade trees. Found mainly in open woods of pinyon pine and juniper, as well as in oak or pine-oak woods.



Usually 5-6, sometimes 4-7. White, sometimes lightly dotted with reddish brown. Incubation is probably by female only, 14-16 days.


Both parents bring food to nestlings. Young leave nest about 16-21 days after hatching.

Feeding Behavior

Forages by hopping about in branches and larger twigs of trees, sometimes hanging upside down, searching for insects among the foliage and on the bark. Opens nuts and acorns by holding them with feet and pounding with bill. Comes to bird feeders for seeds or suet.


Insects, nuts, seeds. Feeds mainly on insects, including many caterpillars, beetles, true bugs, and many others, as well as some spiders. Also eats pinyon nuts, acorns, weed seeds, and sometimes berries or small fruits. B


At least in some areas, pairs or family groups may defend territories all year. Nest site (possibly selected by female) is usually in hole in tree, sometimes hole in stump, fence post, or pole. May be natural cavity or old woodpecker hole. In rotten wood, both members of pair may work to enlarge small cavities for their use. Also will use nest boxes, or crevices in old, twisted trunks of juniper or pine. Nest has foundation of grass, weeds, moss, bark fibers, and lining of soft material such as feathers or animal hair.

Climate Vulnerability

Conservation Status

Locally common in parts of its range, with no obvious trends in population.

Climate Map

Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect the range of the Juniper Titmouse. Learn even more in our Audubon’s Survival By Degrees project.

Climate Threats Facing the Juniper Titmouse

Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.