Titmouse, the popular name of the parinoa, a subfamily of the warblers, found in all parts of the world except South America. The bill is short, strong, rather conical and straight, with the tip entire; nostrils generally concealed by the frontal plumes; wings moderate and pointed, with the first three quills graduated; tail more or less long, rounded and even; tarsi long, slender, and scaled in front; inner toe shortest; claws strong and curved. - In the typical genus parus (Linn.) the bill is somewhat curved, not very stout; the head is not crested; the fourth and fifth quills are equal and longest; the crown and throat generally black. There are more than 50 species described in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, small, sprightly, and bold birds, and many of them with beautiful colors. They sometimes do considerable damage in orchards by picking open the buds in search of insects. The nests are made in the forks of bushes and trees, of moss, grasses, and wool, lined with hair and feathers; many of the best known species deposit their eggs in holes of decayed trees, left by the woodpeckers or made by themselves; the eggs are six to twelve. - The largest of the well known American species is the tufted titmouse (lophophanes bicolor, Bonap.), 6¼ in. long and about 10 in. in alar extent; the crown has a conspicuous crest, the bill is conical with the upper and lower outlines convex, wings graduated with the first quill very short, and the tail moderately long and rounded.
The color above is ashy black; frontal band black; under parts uniform whitish, sides brownish chestnut; sides of head nearly white, and bill black. It is found throughout eastern North America to the Missouri, appearing in the middle states about May 1, in the summer inhabiting the forests, in flocks or families of eight or ten, in company with the nuthatch and downy woodpecker; the note is a kind of pleasing whistle; the eggs are six or eight, white with a few red spots at the larger end, and are laid in holes of decayed trees. - In the genus parus (Linn.) belongs the black-capped titmouse or chickadee (P. atricapillus, Linn.). (See Blackcap.) The largest of the European species is the great titmouse or tit (P. major, Linn.), called also oxeye and blackcap in England, and la charbonniere in France; it is less than 6 in. long, with the head, fore part of neck, transverse band on sides, and longitudinal one on breast and abdomen, black; cheeks white, back yellowish green, and breast and sides yellow; wings and tail grayish.
Its usual note is a loud cheep followed by a harsh chatter, in the spring resembling the filing of a saw and heard to a great distance; it imitates the notes of other birds, and in its habits and food shows an alliance to the jays; in its search for flies it visits the cottage tops and pulls the straw from the thatch; it is found from Norway and Sweden to the southern boundaries of Europe. The blue tit (P. cccru-leus, Linn.) is 4¾ in. long and 7¾ in. in alar extent, with the upper part of the head light blue and encircled with white; band round neck, and before and behind eyes, duller blue; cheeks white, back light yellowish green, under parts pale grayish yellow, and middle of breast dull blue. This is the handsomest and most familiar species; in autumn it quits the woods and thickets and visits the gardens and orchards, incessantly hopping about among the branches, pert and irritable; it is called tomtit, bluecap, bluebonnet, and billy-biter in various parts of England. It is a permanent resident in Great Britain; it is very bold when sitting, hissing j like a snake or angry kitten, and severely biting the hand brought near the nest. - The hanging tit (paroides pendulinus, Koch), 4½ in. long, is reddish gray above, with wings and tail blackish, and lower parts rosy white; it is found in eastern and northern Europe, and constructs very artistically a nest woven of the fibres of bark and the cotton of the seeds of willows, fastened to a reed or thin branch and surrounded by closely tangled bushes, which protect it from the wind and hide it from view.
TITUS, a N. E. county of Texas, bounded N. by Sulphur fork of Red river, S. by Big Cypress bayou, and intersected by White Oak bayou; area, 940 sq.m.; pop. in 1870, 11,339, of whom 2,818 were colored. The surface is generally level and the soil fertile. The county is well timbered, and contains iron ore. The chief productions in 1870 were 382,029 bushels of Indian corn, 5,632 of oats, 48,343 of sweet potatoes, and 7,039 bales of cotton. There were 3,437 horses, 4,597 milch cows, 10,784 other cattle, 3,798 sheep, 28,711 swine, end 7 saw mills. Capital, Mount Pleasant.
Tufted Titmouse (Lophophanes bicolor).
Hanging Tit (Paroides pendulinus).