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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, Jouko Lehmuskallio, Reima Kekäläinen, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Great Tit

Parus major

  • Family: Tits – Paridae
  • Appearance: Familiar visitors to gardens and bird tables. Head mainly black with white cheek patch. Yellow belly marked with a broad medial black stripe. Back greenish grey.
  • Size: Length 13.5–15 cm, weight 15–23 g.
  • Nest: In a hole or a nest box. Does not excavate its own nest holes. Nest made of moss, hair, wool and feathers, varies in size depending on the size of the hole.
  • Breeding: 6–12 eggs usually laid in April–May, incubated by female for 12–15 days. Fledglings leave nest within 16–21 days. Often breeds a second time the same summer.
  • Occurrence: Breeds throughout Finland, though only in certain localities in Lapland. Finnish breeding population estimated at 1.5–2 million pairs.
  • Migration: Mainly sedentary, but some birds may migrate, or roam for distances up to hundreds of kilometres, especially between September and November, returning in April.
  • Diet: Seeds, Invertebrates. Readily feeds at bird tables in winter.
  • Calls: Most commonly a Chaffinch-like “tvink” or a chattering “che-che-che”. Song a cheerful “ti-ti-tee” or a shorter “ti-tee” with many variations.

Great Tits are the largest and most familiar of the tits found in Finland. Their heads are bluish black with bright white cheek patches. A single broad black stripe runs down and along their bright yellow chests and bellies, resembling a necktie. Their wings and tail are greyish blue and their backs are yellowish green. Their wings are marked with a single white crosswise stripe. The sexes can be distinguished by the size and shape of their necktie markings. Males’ black stripes are broader, and also extend and widen towards the back of their bellies. The black colouring on males’ heads is also glossier. Great Tits 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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