Male Coal Tit

Coal Tit

Scientific name: Periparus ater

Did you know: Coal Tits have a unique habit of hoarding food in the winter months, storing seeds and insects in crevices and even in the lining of their nests to survive the colder season.

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

Coal Tits are petite birds easily recognised by their agile movements and distinctive colouring. They sport a glossy black cap and bib contrasted sharply with their bright white face and throat. Their wings and tail feature striking black with bold white bars, while their underbellies are a soft grey, fading to a light yellowish hue at the breast. 

These birds are well-adapted to cold climates, with a dense feathering that they can puff up to trap air for insulation.

Differences Between Male And Female Coal Tits

While both sexes of Coal Tits share the same vibrant white cheek patches and greyish underparts, subtle differences mark the males and females. Males boast a slightly darker grey on their backs and a more pronounced black on their heads, giving them a sharper contrast. 

Females, on the other hand, have a lighter, brownish-grey back which makes their appearance slightly less contrasting than their male counterparts.

What Do Coal Tits Eat?

Coal Tits primarily feed on a diet rich in insects, seeds, and nuts. They exhibit a remarkable acrobatic skill while feeding, often hanging upside down to access food sources on the undersides of branches. 

In addition to their natural diet, they are frequent visitors to bird feeders, where they are particularly fond of sunflower seeds.

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

Primarily found in coniferous woodlands, Coal Tits can also be spotted in various parks and garden areas. Although they are mainly resident birds, making only local movements, they can form flocks in winter to roam more widely in search of food. 

This bird is adaptable and can thrive in both urban and suburban settings, making it a common sight across the UK.

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

Coal Tits have a distinctive high-pitched song, which is often described as a more rapid and thinner version of the Great Tit’s call, reminiscent of a bicycle pump. Their call consists of sharp, repeated “if-he, if-he” phrases, which can be heard throughout their habitat, especially from January to June and again in autumn. 

Their communication also includes simpler ‘dee’ or ‘see-see’ sounds to maintain contact within flocks.

Fun Coal Tit Facts (kid friendly)

  • Coal Tits can fluff up their feathers to trap air and stay warm during the cold.
  • They can hang upside down to get to the best seeds and insects on branches!
  • Their song sounds like a tiny bike pump going really fast!
  • In the winter, Coal Tits form flocks with their friends to search for food together.
  • By eating insects, Coal Tits help control garden pests.
  • There are several different subspecies of Coal Tits, each with slightly different colouring.
  • Despite their small size, they can find their way back to their hidden food stashes even after several days.

Coal Tit Video

Facts About The Coal Tit

Diet: They eat mostly insects, seeds and nuts.
Bird Family: Tits
Length: 11cm
Wingspan: 16 - 21cm
Weight: 7.5 - 10g
Scientific Name: Periparus ater

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

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

Coal Tit Images

Male Coal Tit Male
Female Coal Tit Female
image coming soon Submit Image
Hatchling
image coming soon Submit Image
Nestling
image coming soon Submit Image
Chick
image coming soon Submit Image
Fledgling
image coming soon Submit Image
Juvenile