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Great Tit

From Opus

Photo © by Clarke  Robinson London, England, February 2007
Photo © by Clarke Robinson
London, England, February 2007
Parus major

Includes: Turkestan Tit


[edit] Identification

12·5–14 cm (5-5½ in); the largest European tit

  • Yellow and green
  • Glossy black head
  • White cheeks
  • Vertical black stripe on chest (broader on male)
Turkestan TitPhoto © by Askar IsabekovKazakhstan Shelek (Chilik), Enbekshikazakh region, Alma Ata oblast, Kazakhstan, March 2007
Turkestan Tit
Photo © by Askar Isabekov
Kazakhstan Shelek (Chilik), Enbekshikazakh region, Alma Ata oblast, Kazakhstan, March 2007

Juvenile: cheeks are yellowish

[edit] Similar Species

The occasional bird is much greyer than the typical one, and needs to be compared carefully to Coal Tit which has two wing bars, different shape to the white spot on rear head/nape, and looks larger headed.

[edit] Distribution

Europe and north Africa through central Asia to western China.

[edit] Taxonomy

Cinereous Tit and Japanese Tit were formerly included in this species. Turkestan Tit (bokharensis, ferghanensis and turkestanicus) was formerly considered a full species.

[edit] Subspecies

JuvenilesPhoto © by the late ChockyDevon, UK, May 2014
Photo © by the late Chocky
Devon, UK, May 2014
Photo © by markrannerTomintoul, Moray, Scotland, February 2018
Photo © by markranner
Tomintoul, Moray, Scotland, February 2018

This is a polytypic species [1] consisting of 15 subspecies:

[edit] Habitat

Parks, woodlands and gardens all over Europe

[edit] Behaviour

A woodland bird but nowadays a garden bird. Sometimes aggressive, fighting with other tits. In winter forms mixed feeding flocks with Blue Tit, Coal Tit. Eurasian Treecreeper and other species

Frequent visitor to birdtables and seed-dispensers, thus well known. Bold, at times plain audacious, may take seed from outstretched hand.

[edit] Diet

Insects and seeds, suet, beech nuts etc.

[edit] Breeding

Breeds in all kinds of woodland (incl. in desolate taiga in far north) and in immediate proximity of man in parks and gardens.

Nests in roomy nestbox, tree-hole (e.g. decayed fruit tree), air duct and even letterbox. The clutch consists of 5-12 white eggs spotted reddish-brown which are incubated for around 2 weeks. The young fledge at around 16-22 days.

There may be a second brood if there is plenty of food. The breeding season runs between April to August in the UK.

[edit] Vocalisation

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Avibase
  3. Bird Watching
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2014)

[edit] External Links


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