Sunday, February 22, 2009

I think this Tufted Titmouse is getting tired of the snow and cold...

This does not look like a happy face. It looks like a 
“Please make it go away now thank you very much” face.

Today I didn't hear our Tufted Titmouse call out "Peter, Peter, Peter" at all, so I decided he was fed up with the cold and the snow. There was no other explanation. Feeling sorry for the thing, I hopped on the Internet to see if I could learn anything new about them. I found a few interesting tid bits on the WhatBird.com site:
  • Most Tufted Titmice live their entire life within a few kilometers of their birthplace.
  • They only occur in areas where rainfall is greater than 24 inches per year, and are more common where rainfall exceeds 32 inches per year.
  • In Cherokee legend, they are regarded as messengers.
  • A group of titmice are collectively known as a "banditry" and a "dissimulation" of titmice.
A banditry? A dissimulation? How can that be?

"What?" he says. "Please check that again." 

It does seem strange to call a group of these little cuties a banditry. In Webster’s a bandit is defined as an outlaw who lives by plunder, especially a member of a band of marauders! ...and dissimulation is even worse. It means to conceal one's true feelings or intentions, but Titmice just don't seem that sneaky to me.

"I think you underestimate my sneakiness."

This fellow doesn't seem to be concealing anything. 
He’s clearly crying out to the heavens “enough 
with the white stuff falling on my face already!”


I’m sure there’s a logical explanation for these 
strange names (and I'm sure someone out there 
knows it!), but I think a group of titmice should 
just be called a Collection of Cuties.

Since titmice and chickadees are in the same family, I wondered if chickadees had the same moniker, and sure enough, they are just a bunch of little marauders sneaking around in the woods too!

Thanks for the photos Larry! They are awesome!

10 comments:

Kallen305 said...

Wonderful post. I had no idea they live most of their lives around their birth place.

Love the pictures. Such cute little birds!

Shellmo said...

That one photo when he's lifting his chin up made me think there might be some mischief to him! Wonderful photos! And interesting to know they hang close to their birthplace. I'll have to have a one on one conversation w/ a couple of my titmouses at the cabin and find out how they like living with me! :)

Roy said...

A banditry and a dissimulation, eh? And they share it with Chickadees! There's gotta be a story to this!

Nice shots of the little bandits.

Warren Baker said...

well I don't think we've got any birds that cute looking over here!

Nick S said...

I've never seen one of those little guys. They are probably cuter than a Chickadee :-)

Kelly said...

Kallen...Thanks! I didn't either.

Shelley...Haha...let us know what he says! He does look like he's up to no good...

Roy...if anyone can get to the bottom of the story, it will be you!

Warren...I think your little Robin is that cute looking!

Nick...Chickadees are pretty cute!!!

Aki said...

It is a wonderful shots. Cute!
You have a good telephoto lens.

Steve B said...

Wow, I've been wanting to say "great post!", but the comment word verification wouldn't give me the graphic. Looks like you've changed the way it loads. Thanks, now I can communicate.

Kelly said...

Thanks, Aki! I visited your site. Even though I don't understand Japanese, I could see the beauty in the photos!!

Steve...I read on Kallen's site that she was having trouble with embedded comments. I didn't even know what embedded comments were, so I looked it up and switched over to full page. Thank you!!!

Jennifer Reck said...

I love your pictures. I agree a collection of cuties is much more fitting for them!
Jenny