Willow Tit

Scientific name: Poecile montanus

Did you know: The Willow Tit, a bird of remarkable resilience, excavates its own nesting holes in trees, a rare skill among its kind.

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

Willow Tits, a charming bird species, are slightly larger than Blue Tits but smaller than Great Tits. Characteristically, they flaunt a sooty-black cap stretching to the back of their neck and a distinct black bib. Their upper parts are a warm mid-brown, setting off their whiter cheeks and pale buff-grey underparts. 

Unlike their Marsh Tit cousins, Willow Tits have a noticeable pale panel on their wings, adding to their unique appearance. Their conservation status is of particular concern, being listed as a Red List species in the UK due to declining populations.

Differences Between Male And Female Willow Tits

Males and females of this species are remarkably similar in appearance, making it quite a challenge to distinguish between them. Both showcase the same striking black cap and bib, and their body plumage shares the same hues of brown, grey, and buff. This uniformity in appearance is a curious trait among these birds.

What Do Willow Tits Eat?

Willow Tits have a diverse diet comprising insects, seeds, and berries. This varied menu allows them to adapt to different seasons and environments, ensuring their survival across various landscapes.

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

These birds are primarily found in wet woodland areas and willow carrs across the UK. They show a strong preference for damp environments like wetlands and bogs, often near gravel pits. Notably, the Willow Tit is a non-migratory species, typically staying within or near their territory throughout the year.

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

The Willow Tit’s call is a distinctive nasal ‘zee, zee, zee’, which is often the most reliable way to identify them in their natural habitat. Their vocal range varies considerably, sometimes uttering a double note, ‘ipsee, ipsee’, repeatedly.

Fun Willow Tit Facts (kid friendly)

  • Willow Tits are skilled at excavating their own nest holes in trees, a rare talent in the tit family.
  • These birds adapt their diet seasonally, switching from insects to seeds and berries as the weather changes.
  • Though their average lifespan is 3 years, some Willow Tits have been known to live up to 11 years.
  • They typically lay 6-8 eggs per breeding season, with both parents helping to raise the young.
  • Willow Tits create homes in decaying wood, contributing to the ecosystem by aiding decomposition.
  • Sadly, Willow Tit numbers have drastically fallen since the mid-1970s, making conservation efforts crucial.
  • Unlike many birds, Willow Tits stay close to their territory all year round, not migrating.

Willow Tit Images

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Male
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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

Facts About The Willow Tit

Diet: Insects, seeds and berries.
Bird Family: Tits
Length: 11.5cm
Wingspan: 17-19cm
Weight: 8-14g
Scientific Name: Poecile montanus

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

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