The tufted titmouse is one of the shyer residents of the yard, overly fond of mealworms. I don’t get many pictures of it, but lately it has become emboldened by the apparently addictive nature of these worms.
Things have been really hectic around here on the human front, and I’ve not paid a lot of attention to the bird population except to keep the feeders full of seeds and suet. Once or twice a day, I open the box of mealworms, which, to my surprise, grew mightily during the warm spell. I put a few in each feeder. Today, I only did it once early in the morning.
Various events occurred to make my morning extremely unproductive, none of which were my fault. After lunch, I had a lot of catching up to do, and by 4, I went to shower, bringing in the suet feeders to keep them safe from the squirrels.
Afterward, I had time to tackle the work pile again. What should appear on the nandina branch that I can see just over the laptop but the titmouse. It turned this way and that, keeping its eyes on me. I waved, as crazy bird people like me do. (I have found that hand motions make them less wary; this has worked on the towhees and wrens. Working on the goldfinches and doves.) It did not leave. Instead, it stopped, and just perched, looking at me.
It is the same look I get from the chickadees. So I dutifully got up and pulled out a few more mealworms. My supply is getting low, hence the rationing. But when the towhee removes them three at a time, and the wren and its baby hop up and swallow them whole, I have to consider reordering. Real soon.
The wren baby watched while its parent moved a mealworm around till it was just in the right position. It flipped the worm a few times, and down the hatch it went. It ignored the baby, who was waiting with its beak open. But thankfully, it is a fast learner. It reached in, selected a worm, and just like Mom, maneuvered it into position, and the worm disappeared.