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Parus palustris

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

Willow Tit

Parus montanus

  • Latin synonym: Poecile montanus
  • Family: Tits – Paridae
  • Appearance: Largish head and thick neck, with black beret-like cap and bib markings, and white cheeks. Back grey, underparts paler grey.
  • Size: Length 12–13 cm, weight 10–13 g.
  • Nest: In a hole in a tree trunk or a decaying tree, only seldom uses nest boxes. Made of juniper bark fragments, wool, hair and a few feathers. Moss only used in small quantities or totally absent. Prefers to excavate its own nesting hole and only rarely uses abandoned holes.
  • Breeding: 5–11 eggs laid in April–May, incubated by female for 13–15 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 15–19 days.
  • Distribution: Breeds in coniferous and mixed forests throughout Finland. Finnish breeding population estimated at 0.6–1 million pairs.
  • Migration: Sedentary. May sometimes range over wider areas in autumn, but such movements do not extend over the sea.
  • Diet: Seeds, invertebrates.
  • Calls: 1–2 short syllables, followed by 2–4 lower, huskier notes: “chi-chi-chay-chay-chay”. Song a series of “tiu-tiu-tiu…” phrases.
  • Endangerment: Vulnerable, protected. Globally Least concern.

Willow Tits are slightly larger than Coal Tits, and have a relatively large head and thick neck. They have grey backs and greyish white underparts, an elongated dull black cap, a small black bib and white cheeks. Their darkish wings have an elongated pale patch that is visible on birds with new plumage, but on birds with older plumage may be absent, leading to possible confusion with the similar Marsh Tit (Parus palustris), which is occasionally seen in Finland and in summertime quite commonly in Estonia and South-Sweden. Willow 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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