Family Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Least Concern

Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus)


French: Mésange unicolore German: Eichenmeise Spanish: Herrerillo unicolor

Parus inornatus


, 1845,

near Monterey, California, USA


Until recently treated as conspecific with B. ridgwayi (see above). Nominate race and affabilis intergrade in SW California (USA). Race mohavensis sometimes merged with latter. Other proposed races include sequestratus (SW Oregon and NW California) and kernensis (drainage of Kern R and adjacent E slopes of Sierra Nevada, in California), both synonymized with nominate, and transpositus (SW California W of the deserts), merged with affabilis. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. i. inornatus (Gambel, 1845) – SW USA (SW Oregon S to SW & SC California).
  • B. i. affabilis Grinnell & Swarth, 1926 – SW California and extreme NW Mexico (N Baja California).
  • B. i. mohavensis (A. H. Miller, 1946) – SE California (Little San Bernardino Mts).
  • B. i. cineraceus (Ridgway, 1883) – W Mexico (S Baja California).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16 cm; 12·6–19·2 g. Large, grey tit with short crest. Nominate race has crown, crest and upperparts, including upperwing-coverts, grey-brown,... read more


    Calls include soft “sip” or “sisip”, “sit-sit” or “si-si-... read more


    Mostly lowland dry evergreen woodlands, mainly of oak (Quercus) but may also include pine... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food includes small invertebrates and larvae; also acorns, leaf buds, catkins, and some fruit, principally berries. Usually solitary, in... read more


    Season late Mar to mid-Jul; one brood. Pair-bond maintained for life. Territory defended throughout year, particularly in spring and also... read more


    Mainly resident; some, possibly juveniles, make short-distance movements to lower levels at... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Considered to be common or fairly common throughout range.

    Recommended citation

    Gosler, A. & Clement, P. (2020). Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 February 2020).