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The tit, a sedentary bird

The tit is the garden bird par excellence. It brightens up our winters with its colorful plumage. Le Figaro makes you discover this small bird present on our feeders.

Active, lively and agile, the tit is a small bird sociable that we meet regularly in our gardens and especially near the feeders.

What is a tit?

The tit is a bird belonging to the order of passerines, that is, it belongs to the category of small or medium-sized birds. Among the passerines is also the robin.

The tit is an arboreal, insectivorous and seed-eating bird. It actively contributes to limiting the number of pests present in our garden.

The tit belongs to the family of Paridaewhich includes 6 different species present in France:

  • the blue tit
  • the great tit
  • Willow Tit
  • crested tit
  • coal tit
  • marsh tit

Attention, do not confuse the tit with the long-tailed tit. Indeed, similarities in appearance and behavior have long led people to believe that these species belonged to the same family. Recent work on their genetics has led to the separation of these two species. The long-tailed tit kept its name, but now belongs to the family of Aegithalidae.

Since the decree of October 29, 2009, the tits belonging to the Paridae family have become protected species.

SEE ALSO – Why do tits become serial killers?

How to recognize a titmouse?

The tit is a small bird, with a stocky body and a short beak. Depending on its species, it can weigh between 9 g and 21 g and measure between 12 cm and 14 cm when fully grown. Its life expectancy is 1 to 3 years.

The song of the titmouse is repetitive, often composed of two or three notes. It is not known to be melodious.

The great tit

The great tit stock.adobe.com

The great tit (Parus major) is the largest of the tits, it can measure up to 14 cm. It is identifiable by its black head and white cheeks. Its plumage is mostly yellow-green, with a black tie on the breastplate. Females are generally more colorful than males.

The blue tit

The blue tit stock.adobe.com

Smaller (about 12 cm) and rounder than the great tit, the tit blue (Parus caeruleus) is easily recognized by its blue cap and white cheeks. The rest of its body is yellow on the belly and blue on the back. We also recognize this bird thanks to its black band in the eyes.

Coal Tit

Coal Tit stock.adobe.com

The coal tit (Parus ater) is stockier than its congeners. As its name suggests, the coal tit sports more black than other tits. It has no bright color. The latter has black head and black nape. Only its white cheeks are reminiscent of other varieties of titmouse. The rest of its body is grey.

willow tit

willow tit stock.adobe.com

The Willow Tit (Parus montanus) also has sober plumage. She displays a black cap that encompasses her eyes and goes down to her neck. Its plumage varies between white and gray over the whole body. Its eyes, legs and beak are usually black.

marsh tit

marsh tit stock.adobe.com

The marsh tit (Parus palustris) resembles the Boreal but differs with its white spot on the beak. Its plumage is mainly gray on the belly and brown on the back. Only its head displays a black cap and white cheeks.

crested tit

crested tit stock.adobe.com

The crested tit (Parus cristatus) is easily identifiable with its large black crest on its head. Its body is brown on the back and rather white gray on the belly. The crested tit also displays a black band around the neck and near the eyes.

Where does the tit live?

The tit lives mainly in Europe. It’s a sedentary bird which does not leave its territory, winter or summer. Indeed, the tit adapts to its environment by modifying its metabolism.

It is present all year round in our forests, parks and gardens. These places serve as a nesting area.

Its nesting period takes place in the spring. During this period, the female establishes her nest in tree cavities, but also on buildings and nesting boxes. She can lay up to 8 eggs there.

During this period of reproduction, the male takes care of feeding the female and protects its territory.

How does a tit behave?

Small but endowed with a big appetite, the tit is a constantly moving bird in search of food.

During the breeding season, the tits form territorial couples. Despite his small size, the male does not hesitate to fight and to be aggressive towards his congeners.

Outside this period, the tit becomes sociable and forms groups with other varieties of tits and other birds such as nuthatches and creepers.

This not very shy bird often rubs shoulders with humans and willingly frequents the nesting boxes and feeders made available.

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