Tufted Titmice are known to use hair to make their nests. They'll start with moss and leaves on the bottom, and then line it with animal hair, or even human hair. And when they're ready to line their nest, THEY WANT THAT HAIR RIGHT NOW!!
Here's a fun story and photos passed along by Wild Birds Unlimited customer Susan B. about a little tuftie that needed her hair...and needed it right away!
This afternoon a tufted titmouse came back and forth several times to my head for nesting material. It took a break to take a bath and then jumped back on. Notice the soaking wet bird in the last pictures.
The other side of my hair was a rat's nest from all the climbing up and down, looking for the perfect hairs.
I had this happen 3 years ago in the same spot in my yard, but Tom wasn't around to record it. This is the first time I've been home in April since then. I'm thinking it's the same bird who has a fetish for my hair. Anyone know if it's the male or female who builds the nest? (Note: the female builds the nest)
Strangely enough, a similar thing happened 2 weeks ago while I was birding alone (no pictures of this one) in Florida. I had been tracking an Eastern Kingbird with my binos when suddenly it got very blurry. Confused, I put my binos down, and low and behold, there it was 3 inches from my eyes, with nesting material in it's mouth! We locked gazes for a nano second and then it hopped up to my head. I was wearing a cap at the time, so no hair pulling. Since the area I was in had only a few dead, thin trees, I'm thinking my cap looked like a nice broad place to build a nest, or at least to rest for a while. The bird didn't leave until I finally had to shift my weight. You've got to love birding, you never know what's going to happen.
Susan must have a special kinship with titmice or else she's using titmice-attracting shampoo! If so, I want some of it! What a great couple of encounters she's had.
Thanks, Susan, for sharing and for giving permission to use your story and images!