Other Names: Grey Tit
Old british names, Great Titmouse, Oxeye, Black Cap, Great Titmouse, Tomtit. Great Black-Headed Tomtit. Sit-Ye-Down. Tom Collier. Saw-Sharper.
Habitat: Prefers deciduous woodland although can be found in conifer plantations. Common to gardens, hedgerows and parks where there are trees. .
Distribution: Worldwide: Across Europe throughout the year except Iceland and northern Scandinavia.
UK: All over the U.K but absent from the Northern and Western Isles of Scotland
Numbers: World Wide: estimated up to a billion individuals
U.K. : 2,500,000 territories.
Food: Invertebrates (esp. butterflies, beetles) and spiders, winter, seeds and fruit including Peanuts from mans feeders.
Breeding: Nests in tree holes or crevices laying 5 – 12 white eggs with red spots.
Bill: Dark, long and pointed, showing its preferance for insects
Length: 13 – 15 cm.
Have you every notice that some Great Tits have a wide black stripe down their chests while others are narrow, while
this is the way to sex them the males are the ones with a wide stripe, the most dominate males have the widest breast
stripe. It has been said that if you cannot make out the bird that is singing in a wood it’s most likely to be a Great
The Great Tit has a number of sub species around the world, with modern DNA testing the numbers keep changing. In the U.K. we have P.M. newtoni while P.M. major is found mainly on the continent but can be found here in the U.K most likely as a winter visitor.
These active woodland Birds breed in crevices or holes, but will be predated by both birds and animals such as Great Spotted Woodpeckers, that will drill through nest boxes to get to the chicks, Grey Squirrel will raid nests given the chance, and raptors such as Sparrow hawks will have them on the menu especially the young soon after leaving the nest along with other hunters such as weasels, gives you a good indication of why they have large broods, for although each pair only needs one youngster plus one of them to survive till the next year to keep the population stable, they are imported for the survival of other creatures in the eco system whilst keeping the number of insects down by predating on them.
|Great Tit figurine||Gouache painting of Great Tit|| Great Tit
|Goebel figurine of a Great Tit for sale||A David L Prescott painting|| Painting
by Pat Carlton, image available for licensing.