Coal Tit Facts - Information About Coal Tit
Coal Tit - Periparus Ater
The Coal Tit is our smallest member of the Tit
family. It is a fairly regular garden bird and will visit feeders
frequently. If you put Peanut feeders
in the garden you’ll have a good chance of attracting one to your garden, especially if there are Pines or Spruce trees near by.
- The Coal Tit is not as well known as its cousins, the Blue and Great Tit, however these birds will venture to your garden.
- Coal Tits are small birds 10cm, the smallest of the British Tits, it will visit garden feeders regularly throughout the year if kept stocked.
- Coal Tits are busy, hyperactive little birds.
- Sexes are alike.
- Upperparts; tail and wings are a pale blue grey, (more grey than Great Tit & Blue Tit
- Wing shows two white wingbars along with white tips to the tertial feathers.
- The back and mantle is the same blue grey colour of the wings. The head is black and white and like Great Tit it has large white cheek patches.
- The most important identification feature is the white nape patch on the back of the head, the rest of the head is black, including the chin.
- The underparts are a lovely buffy thorn colour, sometimes looking salmon pink in bright sunshine.
- The bill is black, longer than Blue’s and fragile looking, legs are dark grey, eye black.
- Juveniles appear from the end of April onwards and look like a washed out adult.
- The young birds lack the strong colours of the adult and look predominantly a washed dull buff.
- The youngsters nape and cheek patches are buffy instead of white. Back and mantle are similar to adults but duller, wingbars are yellow/buff.
- Bill and eyes are black, legs are dark.
Status and Distribution
The Coal Tit is a very abundant breeding resident in the UK with around 600,000 pairs. The Coal Tit occurs in all counties throughout the UK and Ireland. Coal Tits will nest in manmade nest boxes, these should be placed 2-4 metres up and facing North/East. This will protect overheating from direct sunlight from and the rain that predominately comes from the West.
Coal Tits occur in all habitat types throughout the UK, however they do prefer conifers, pines, spruce woodlands, parks, gardens, farmland, hedgerows indeed any open country habitat with suitable scrub.
In the garden Coal Tits love peanuts, insects, seed mixes, mealworms, suet and fat balls , they are not to fussy and will happily take whatever is on the bird table.
Coal Tits have a few call notes; most often is a buzzy, ‘tuu tee tuu e’ which is repeated.
Song is a loud repeated trill, similar to Great Tits……’pitchoo pitchoo pitchoo pitchoo’