Female Bearded Tit

Bearded Tit

Scientific name: Panurus biarmicus

Did you know: Bearded Tits are sometimes known as ‘bearded reedling’ or ‘bearded parrotbill’. Despite these names, they’re neither tit nor parrotbill but belong to their own unique family.

What Do Bearded Tits Look Like? (how to identify them)

Bearded Tits are a striking spectacle with their rich cinnamon-brown plumage and distinctive facial markings. 

The males are particularly eye-catching with a bold black moustache, a feature often mistaken for a beard, which contrasts sharply with their soft grey heads. 

These birds measure about 12 cm in length, with a wingspan ranging from 16 to 18 cm, and weigh between 12 to 18 grams.

Differences Between Male and Female Bearded Tits

Male Bearded Tits are easily identifiable by their ‘moustache’, a dark marking on their faces, coupled with a grey head and vibrant auburn body. 

Females, on the other hand, lack the moustache and sport a more subdued colour palette, which helps them blend seamlessly into the reed beds they call home.

What Do Bearded Tits Eat?

Bearded Tits adapt their diet seasonally. 

During the warmer months, they feast on a variety of insects and their larvae. As the cold sets in, their diet shifts predominantly to reed seeds. 

They are often spotted in autumn, picking up grit from the ground; an essential practice to help them digest the tougher seeds.

Where Do Bearded Tits Live? (inc. migration info)

Bearded Tits are resident birds found throughout the year in the UK, primarily in Southern, Eastern, and North West England, as well as parts of Wales and Scotland. They inhabit large reed beds in freshwater wetlands. 

Despite their strong presence in these areas, they are not known for long-distance migrations but exhibit local movements in response to severe weather conditions.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Bearded Tits)

The vocalisations of Bearded Tits are as distinctive as their appearance. Their calls, a sharp ‘ping’ or a nasal ‘ting’, are typically the first hint of their presence in the dense reeds. These sounds play a crucial role in the social dynamics of the species, helping them maintain contact within the thick reeds.

Fun Bearded Tit Facts (kid friendly)

  • Despite their name, Bearded Tits are not true tits and belong to their own unique bird family.
  • In the winter, they switch from bugs to seeds, helping them survive the cold.
  • Only male Bearded Tits have the famous moustache; females go incognito with their plain looks.
  • They build their nests low in the reeds, cleverly using dead reed stems to stay hidden.
  • Once on the brink in certain areas, conservation efforts have helped their numbers bounce back impressively.
  • You can spot these birds throughout the year, so every visit to the wetlands can be a treasure hunt!
  • Watch them eat grit in autumn – it’s like watching birds at a tiny gravel buffet!

Bearded Tit Video

Facts About The Bearded Tit

Diet: They eat Insects (including their larvae) and seeds
Bird Family: Bearded tit
Length: 12cm
Wingspan: 15 - 18cm
Weight: 11 - 19g
Scientific Name: Panurus biarmicus

The Bearded Tit Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Bearded Tit Images

Male Bearded Tit Male
Female Bearded Tit Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile