Expectations with Wings: Tuft

A little over a year ago, I sat outside reading a book. Typical and not very surprising, but the situation was anything by ordinary.

It goes like this…

I walk outside to a gorgeous spring morning, taking in the golden rays of warmth as I make my way over to the green (now red) Adirondack chairs in my front yard. Choosing one, I plop down and open “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens and make myself comfortable for a long hour of good reading. What I don’t expect is that I will have endless interruptions before I can even get through two pages.

As I let Dickens whisk me away to another place and time, I’m brought back to reality by the constant sound of fluttering above my head. I put Dickens down and turn around to see a little bird perched in the Pear Tree behind me. I smile and say hello, because of course it understands what I’m saying, and then proceed to read once more.

Pretty soon, I hear fluttering above my head again, but this time it’s even closer. Not wanting to scare the bird away, I remain patient and wait to see what will happen. And before long, I feel something very light and soft brush my hair before it flies away.

Stunned and confused, I do what most every child who lives in the 21st century does – open SnapChat. I find the App and quickly turn the front-facing camera on and wait. Time seems to move like an excruciatingly slow snail. But then it happens.

I hear the fluttering once more, and this time it’s closer than it’s ever been. Before I know what’s happening, the bird takes an extra dose of courage and alights upon my head, almost as if I’m an extension of a tree limb. If that isn’t enough in itself, he thus tries to pry some of my hair out of my head with his beak. And no, it doesn’t hurt, it just feels kind of ridiculous having a bird on top of your head. But of course I just sit there (taking pictures/video) and let it happen.

Needless to say, my day is made and I feel the happiest girl alive to have ever walked planet earth.

And that’s how I met Tuft.

• • • • • •

Facts about the Tufted Titmouse:

I decided to do some research and stumbled upon this highly interesting piece of information, taken from “Tufted Titmouse: Life History” at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website (link provided below):

Titmice build cup-shaped nests inside the nest cavity using damp leaves, moss and grasses, and bark strips. They line this cup with soft materials such as hair, fur, wool, and cotton, sometimes plucking hairs directly from living mammals. Naturalists examining old nests have identified raccoon, opossum, dog, fox squirrel, red squirrel, rabbit, horse, cow, cat, mouse, woodchuck, and even human hair in titmouse nests. Nest construction takes 6 to 11 days.

Okay, so it seems as though Tuft was trying to use some of my hair to build a nest (which I kind of figured). I don’t know if he got anything, but still, I like thinking those little Titmouse babies grew up around my DNA.

Regardless, this is pretty cool!

If you found any of this interesting, the website link below provides additional information on these remarkable birds. Also below, you’ll find a picture of Tuft 🙂

img_3901
Of course I couldn’t get a decent photo where I had a normal face, but here is Tuft, happily perched.

Learn more here!

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology 

Thanks for reading!!

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