TUFTED TITMICE—“THE FOREST’S CROSSING GUARDS”. Christopher Solomon had an article in the New York Times (May 18) on research into the extent that birds take warnings from the calls of other species. Solomon says : ” Red-breasted nuthatches listen to chickadees. Dozens of birds listen to tufted titmice, who act like the forest’s crossing guards. Squirrels and chipmunks eavesdrop on birds….” Titmice are analogized to “crossing guards” because Katie Sieving, a professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at the University of Florida, has found that other birds hold back from entering hazardous open areas in a forest if the titmice sound any alarm.

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