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Willow Tit

Willow Tit, Identification, Habitat & Food

By

20th August 2013

Identification
Length: 11cm.

The Willow Tit is distinguished from the Marsh Tit by its duller and spotted black, rather than glossy jet black crown. It also has pale areas on the wing, formed by the light coloured margins of its secondaries. Its flanks are a deeper brownish colour than the Marsh Tit’s and its black bib is larger. However, the most reliable way to distinguish between the Willow Tit and the Marsh Tit is by voice.

Call
Their typical call note is a grating and harsh ‘tsshey’ or ‘aeg’. It has two distinct songs, a ‘piu-piu’, which resembles the Wood Warbler’s and an intermittent liquid song like the Garden Warbler.

Reproduction
Breeding starts from mid-April. They nest in a dead tree or stump, where the wood is soft enough to allow the bird to excavate its own cavity. However, it occasionally nests in a natural cavity or Woodpecker hole. The female digs the cavity and lines it with hair and a few feathers.
Six to nine eggs are laid. They are smooth and glossy white, with variable amounts of reddish markings, which may be concentrated at the larger end. The female alone incubates the eggs for thirteen to fifteen days. Both parents tend the young.

Habitat
Lives in deciduous and coniferous woodland and scrub. Also likes marshy areas with shrub vegetation.

Natural Food

Eats insects, larvae and seeds.

Where to Feed
Feeders – Ideally above 1m in height
Table – Open topped or covered
Ground – Not suitable