Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bridled Titmouse

At the end of February 2014, we visited my brother north of Silver City, New Mexico. We made several birding explorations, one in search of Bridled Titmice that my brother assured us lived among the oaks at a local picnic area. A Bridled Titmouse quickly appeared. The titmouse moved from tree to tree so fast that I soon found my legs tangled in the weeds at my feet. The bird acted more like a chickadee than a titmouse. I did, however, manage this one photograph, a new bird for my collection.

Among North American titmice, the Bridled Titmouse’s striking head pattern is unique. They do bear a striking resemblance to European Crested Tit. Some ornithologists wondered if the two species were closely related. Genetic studies indicate, however, that Bridled Titmice are more closely related to North American titmice than they are to the European bird (Nocedal and Ficken 1998).

Bridled Titmice are found in southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico south through Mexico. The scientific name, Baeolophus wollweberi, is interesting. The species was first described by Charles Bonaparte in 1850 and named for Wollweber, who previously collected a specimen. That is all we know about Wollweber, who sent Mexican specimens to a German museum (Nocedal and Ficken 1998; Gruson 1972).

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful image of a very neat looking bird!

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