First off, don’t go and get offended. The word tit dates back to the mid 16th century, probably of Scandinavian origin from the word titingur sparrow; the birds were called tits by birders then and still are today. The word you are thinking of did not come around until the 18th century. Remember there are no dirty words, only dirty minds.

Two Titmice VodkaThe Tufted Titmouse is the most common backyard bird in America. They are often described as perky, well rounded, plump and readily come to feeders and baths. Tits hang out regularly with chickadees and the two will often feed right alongside one another.  

One day as I was watching birds come to a feeder outside my office window, two tits sharing seeds caught my attention. One tit kept picking up a seed pod and passing it to its partner at the feeder. Then the helpful tit would grab a seed pod for itself and the two would fly off to dine together on a nearby branch. They repeated the sequence for a while, fly down together, pass a seed, grab a seed, fly off and eat, then come back.  

Tits are very social. They are not shy.  Close proximity to humans is normal but this pair was especially bold. I was only a few feet away through the window. As I watched them I noticed that one of the tits had the tip of its beak broken off. It was the bird that was the recipient of the seed from its partner. As I watched the birds fly to the nearby branch, each with a seed pod in their mouth, I noticed that the healthy tit cracked its seed pod open and ate the seed inside. It then took the seed pod from its partner with the broken beak and cracked the seed pod open for its partner to get at the seed inside.

At the time of this event my wife was battling breast cancer. The two little tits helping each other through one of life’s difficult moments, the struggle my wife was having with the disease, and the struggle I was having trying to help my wife battle her disease was uncanny to say the least. Those two titmice helped me understand that the smallest efforts can be lifesavers.

The idea for Two Titmice Vodka sprang from that moment.  

Ed Malin