Coal Tit -
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Coal Tit

periparus ater

Coal Tits are the smallest European tit and less colourful than some of their cousins. The Coal Tit has a distinctive grey back, black cap and white patch at the nape of its neck. Its high-pitched song - a repetitive 'pee-chew' - is similar to that of the Great Tit, but faster.

The Coal Tit's small, slender bill means it can feed on the beech mast and conifer seeds most other birds struggle to access. Coal Tits are also regular bird-table visitors, particularly enjoying sunflower seeds and suet. When food is plentiful they squirrel it away for later and Great Tits can sometimes be seen watching a Coal Tit forage and then raiding its stash. 

 

In the winter they often join flocks of mixed tits in woodlands. Harsh weather can devastate the Coal Tit population, but recent warmer winters and increased garden feeding have led to a slight increase in its numbers.   

Tiny Eggs

Coal Tits nest in tree hollows or in mouse holes. The nest is similar to that of a Blue Tit, in other words made of moss, wood, dead leaves and spiders' webs, except it is moss-lined. 

 

The bird's small eggs (15mm x 12mm) are smooth, glossy and white with reddish-brown speckles. The female incubates them by herself and after they have hatched both parents feed the young. 

To Learn More

Visit the RSPB and don't forget to join the Big Garden Birdwatch

Copyright © Karen Meadows 2018 

A group of Tits is collectively known as a 'banditry' or a 'dissimulation.' 

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