Members of the titmouse family are among the most familiar and popular backyard birds across North America. The best known undoubtedly are the chickadees, a handful of dark-capped sprites that flock to feeders over most of the U.S. and Canada. The crested titmice of the genus Baeolophus are not quite so numerous or widespread, but they are welcome backyard visitors over much of the lower 48 states and southeastern Canada.
The five species form a distinct group within the family. All have short crests they can raise or lower at will. One species, Bridled Titmouse, is about the size of a chickadee, but the other four all average larger. Bridled often forms flocks of more than half a dozen in the non- breeding season, as chickadees do, but the other four crested titmice are more often seen in groups of only two or three. All of the birds nest in cavities, but chickadees in general seem more likely to excavate or enlarge holes for use, while titmice are more likely to use unmodified holes.