Great Tit

Great Tits

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The largest of the tit family in the British Isles, the Great Tit, it’s a blackhead easily recognizes it and black breast stripe, bright yellow belly and olive greenback. It is a common bird and has adapted well from its natural woodland habitat to breed in gardens, parks and suburban areas generally.

Part of this success is down to its willingness to breed in nest boxes put up in gardens, plus is adaptability to eat different foods. The Great tit song consists of a mechanical-sounding two-syllable song, which is included of single stuttering “pit,” “spick” and “chit” sounds.

Content Overview

History

Characteristics

Behavior

Speech and Vocalizations

Colors and Markings

Diet and Nutrition

Habitat

Populations

Fun Facts

History

The great tit was expressed under its current binomial name by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae. Its scientific name is obtained from the Latin parus “tit” and maior “larger.” Francis Willughby had accepted the name in the 17th century.

The great tit was earlier treated as ranging from Britain to Japan and south to the islands of Indonesia, with 36 defined subspecies ascribed to four main species groups. The great tit’s closest siblings are the white-naped and green-backed tits of southern Asia. Most great tits do not relocate except in places with harsh winters.

Characteristics

Great Tits Facts

  • Latin name: Parus major
  • Feather color: Black, Blue, Cream, Green, Grey, White, Yellow
  • Leg color: Grey
  • Beak: Black, Short, Thin
  • Length: 12- 14 cm
  • Wingspan: 24cm
  • Weight: 18g
  • Life Span: 3 yrs
  • Lifestyle: Arboreal, Altricial
  • Seasonal Behavior: Sedentary
  • Status: Resident breeding species
  • Diet: Carnivore, Insectivores, Herbivore, Frugivore, Granivore
  • Mating Behavior: Monogamy
  • Baby Name: chick
  • Baby Carrying: 5-12 eggs
  • Conservation status: Green
  • Family: Tits

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Paridae
  • Genus: Parus
  • Species: P. major

Behavior

Great tits are woodland birds by nature, but right beyond the UK, they’ve happily obtained a move into urban and suburban gardens. They’re pretty positive birds for their size and are not humble about getting their fair portion at feeders, though like the different tits, they don’t manage to hang nearby out in the open.

The Great Tit is bold in its behavior and is also usually aggressive at nesting sites, including removing smaller species of tit and at feeding locations. However, it is also famous for obtaining a relatively intelligent bird to accommodate and learn new tasks to make food quickly.

Speech and Vocalizations

The great tit is, like different tits, a vocal bird and has up to 40 types of calls and songs. Their song is a two-note descending call that reappeared numerous times, generally defined as ‘tea-cher, tea-cher!’.  The rings are usually the equivalent between the sexes, but the male is further vocal than the female rarely calls. So instead, single soft notes such as “pit,” “spick”, or “chit” are employed as contact calls.

Dozens of various call varieties have been remarked, with single birds having different song types as well. They sing more powerful in cities, apparently heard over the hum of traffic and other sounds. It is thought that this response to intruders in their region that there are multiple birds previously present, and they should move on to play on more extra accessible grounds!

Colors and Markings

The Great Tit is primarily green and yellow with prominent white cheeks on its blackhead. The bold black stripe on its underparts is the most reliable way to understand apart males and females: the male’s line is broader, particularly on the belly, and the females do not stretch as far as the legs. When it flies away, the black tail with white exterior tail feathers is remarkable.

Great tits have a pretty long tail that they accept for maneuvering and communication. They have a solid black bill and legs. Wings have black flight feathers with blue-grey shields and black tertials, tipped white. Great tits have prominent white triangular cheek patches.

Diet and Nutrition

Great tits are essentially insectivorous in the summer, feeding on insects and spiders, which they capture by foliage gleaning. Their more extensive invertebrate prey comprises cockroaches, grasshoppers, and crickets, lacewings, earwigs, bugs (Hemiptera), ants, flies (Diptera), caddisflies, beetles, scorpionflies, harvestmen, bees and wasps, snails, and woodlice.

When feeding caterpillars to their young, they separate the intestines first, rather like your fishmonger gutting a fish! So essentially, insects, seeds, and nuts will use peanut feeders and take scraps on bird tables.

Habitat

Great tits reside primarily in woodland areas yet have quickly adapted to park and garden environments, making the Great tit a regular visitor all year round. They will commonly maintain the same territory, generation to generation unless severely disrupted, and they are typically a non-migratory species. However, great tits have been known to migrate in sudden irruptions due to shallow temperatures in northern territories such as Scandinavia.

Populations

Populations of Great Tits have improved since 1960, and they are not frightened at present. They are widespread in their range. These populations are stable, despite the high mortality in juveniles, probably due to predation and starvation.

According to the IUCN Red List, the full population size of the Great tit is around 433,300,000-703,300,000 mature individuals. In Europe, the breeding population consists of 65,100,000-106,000,000 pairs, which equates to 130,000,000-211,000,000 mature individuals.

Fun Facts

Here are some Interesting Facts about Great Tits.

  • An excellent tit clutch can be anything from five to 11 eggs, with the female doing all the incubation.
  • The cock supports the female feed the brood: the chicks usually leave the nest about 20 days later hatching.
  • Though great tits existing in oakwoods seldom have a second brood, it’s not unusual for them to make so in pinewoods.
  • Most individuals are sedentary, seldom moving far from where they hatched, but there is a trend to go more in years when the beech crop fails.
  • The great tit owes many of its success to its adaptability, while rising numbers in Britain may rightly be because it is an enthusiastic user of garden feeding locations.
  • Because of its broad range and the truth that it frequently exists near man, it is one of the numerous profoundly studied birds.
  • The readiness of great tits to use nest boxes is one of the purposes they are such famous birds to study.
  • The male’s distinctive double-note song is one of the numerous well-known sounds of spring.
  • There are, however, a massive amount of variations of the song, and a standard cock great tit will use throughout 40 variations.
  • If you hear a bird song that you can’t recognize, then there’s an excellent possibility it will be a great tit.

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Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

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