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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Bearded Tit

Panurus biarmicus

  • Name also: Bearded Parrotbill
  • Family: Bearded tits – Timaliidae
  • Appearance: An exotic looking bird with a long tail and short, rounded wings. Very distinctive appearance. Largely pale yellowish brown in colouring.
  • Size: Length 14–15.5 cm, weight 11–21 g.
  • Nest: A basket-like structure built hanging from reeds, made of the dry leaves of reeds and other aquatic plants. Lined with reed tufts, feathers and hair.
  • Breeding: 3–11 eggs laid April–May, incubated by both parents for 10–14 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 12–16 days. Nests in colonies. Often raises more than one brood per summer.
  • Distribution: Breeds in extensive reed beds in coastal regions of Finland. Has only spread into Finland from the late 1980s. Finnish breeding population estimated at 500–1,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Sedentary. May roam longer distances in autumn.
  • Diet: Invertebrates, reed seeds.
  • Calls: A jingling call “ping”.
  • Endangerment: Vulnerable, protected in Finland. Globally Least concern.

Bearded Tits’ tails are almost as long as those of Long-tailed Tits. Their wings are reddish brown with black and white markings. Males’ heads and necks are bluish grey, and they have white throats and black moustache-like stripes extending downwards beneath their eyes. Their backs and flanks are reddish brown and they have black vents. Females do not have moustache stripes, black vents or grey colouring on their heads. They are also more yellowish brown in colouring. Juveniles are brownish yellow in colouring. Juvenile males have black stripes on their heads and backs. Young females are more uniform in colouring with less distinctive greyish striped markings.

Bearded Tits have black legs and yellowish irises. Males have yellowish beaks and females’ beaks are greenish yellow. In flight Bearded Tits appear unsteady, with fluttering wingbeats.

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