A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula

Coal Tit © Natural England/AllanDrewittLook out for Coal Tits in conifer and mixed woodlands.
Photo: © Natural England/Allan Drewitt

 

 

COAL TIT

Scientific name: Periparus ater

Conservation status: UK Birds of Conservation Concern, Green; IUCN Red List, Least Concern.

What to look for:

  • Colouring and appearance: Black cap, white patch at back of neck and on cheeks, grey back.
  • Size: Length 12 cm, wingspan 19 cm.
  • Where: Conifer and mixed woodlands, parks, gardens
  • Call: http://www.xeno-canto.org/24884
  • Similar species: Great Tit

Coal Tit © Natural England/AllanDrewittIt might not have the blue and yellow of a Blue Tit or the pink flush of a Long-tailed Tit, but the black, grey and white of the Coal Tit lends it its own more demure charm. Coal Tits are often found in conifer or mixed woods – their slender bill makes them better adapted than other Tits to feeding on conifers. You might spot them in your garden as well, though, especially if you feed them peanuts. They mainly eat invertebrates, but will feed on seeds, especially in winter when other food is more scarce.

Coal Tits produce one or two broods a year, laying up to ten eggs.

Did you know…?

…Saving for a rainy day: Coal Tits cache food to eat later.

…There are several races of Coal Tit: Periparus ater britannicus is found across Britain and Ireland.

More information and references:

Svensson, L., Mullarney, K., Zetterstrom, D.,1986. Collins Bird Guide, second edition (translated by Christie, D., Svensson, L.). HarperCollins, London.


Published: March 2015
Author: Amanda Scott
Photos: © Natural England/Allan Drewitt

Find out about other bird species you can see on The Lizard.