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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, M., W. & F. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland), Pohjolan linnut värikuvin. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Coal Tit

Parus ater

  • Latin synonym: Periparus ater
  • Family: Tits – Paridae
  • Appearance: Coal Tits are small tits, with a black cap, white cheeks and a distinctive white patch on their nape. Upper parts greyish, underparts white with brownish tinge.
  • Size: Length 10–11.5 cm, weight 8–10 g.
  • Nest: In holes or nest-boxes, lined with moss, hair and wool. Coal tits do not excavate holes themselves.
  • Breeding: 3–13 eggs laid April–May, incubated by female for 14–16 days. Fledglings leave nest after 16–19 days.
  • Distribution: Breeds in spruce stands and mixed forest. More common in Southern and Central Finland, but during favourable years may nest as far north as Southern Lapland. Finnish breeding population estimated at 30,000–100,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Sedentary, but in some years may range long distances when spruce seeds are in short supply.
  • Diet: Seeds and invertebrates.
  • Calls: A piercing whistle “tsii-tju”. Song “pitee, pitee” similar to song of Great Tit.

The smallest member of the tit family found in Finland. Coal Tits’ heads are mainly glossy black with distinctive white patches on their cheeks and nape. Their backs are a bluish-grey and their underparts are whitish. Their dark wings are marked with two rows of white dots. Their dark tails are shorter than those of other tits. They have bluish-grey legs, black beaks and dark brown irises.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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