Sunday, December 14, 2014

the little titmouse that could

I’ve had some big life changes happening recently. I made the hard decision to leave Alaska to move back home to Shreveport. I got an awesome new job working in science education.  I feel like I have a sense of family again. I’ve reconnected with old friends and made some new ones- one of which is a mouse of the tit variety...

Tufted Titmouse
You see, I moved back in with my mom. I’m lucky to have a soft place to land until I get my own apartment next month, but there’s a reason you get shoved out of the nest at 18. It has been good to spend time with my mom though. And a little unexpected friend has been hanging around the house.

When I first got home, I would hear this knocking sound a few times a day that echoed throughout the house. I could not believe it when I found the source of this perpetual racket- a little Tufted Titmouse was perching on the windows, peeking in, and pecking them with its beak. It would beat on one window for a few seconds, then flutter to the next and repeat.

And it has not stopped. As I type this, I’m watching him do it.

Tufted Titmice are songbirds. They’re known for their melodic call that sounds like someone singing “peter-peter-peter.” They’re small, generally bluish-gray with blush-colored contour feathers under their wings. They have big black beady eyes that dot their pointy little heads, which are crested. You’ve seen plenty of crested-headed birds before; think Blue Jays, cardinals, waxwings, etc.

Crests on songbirds function mainly in display. They are more prominent on the males, and serve as signal of fitness. Other birds have even fancier crests, like cockatiels. Evolutionary biologists have good evidence that suggests they were present on the dinosaur ancestors of birds. A T-Rex with a plume of feathers on its head? Yes please.

So why is my new friend being such a creeper? I really don’t know. Maybe he’s a person that’s been magically turned into a bird and is trying to get my attention for help. Maybe he can see inside and is curious. It’s more likely, however, that he sees his reflection and is trying to pick a fight with himself (I find that endlessly hilarious). At any rate, I admire his tenacity- he certainly does not give up.

As I start this new chapter of my life, I’ll take notes from this little titmouse that could. Don’t give up, keep trying your hardest, and always pick a fight with your reflection.

Ya know, for the entertainment factor.