Marsh Tit Facts - Information About Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit - Poecile Palustris
The Marsh Tit like Willow Tit
is a declining species, prefers old damp deciduous woodland with rotting vegetation, this soft wood makes hole excavation much easier. Not found in Scotland or Ireland, not to many in the North of England, the further south you go the more frequent it becomes. It will quite happily use garden feeders during the winter months.
Differences between the Marsh Tit and Willow Tit:
- The Marsh Tit is almost identical to its cousin the Willow Tit, the easiest way to separate them is by voice.
- Plumage is similar and this is what to look for when faced with separating potential Willow Tit / MarshTits.
- Sexes Alike.
- General plumage - both Marsh and Willow Tits are black capped, white cheeked, black bibbed tits.
- They both share the same colouring, upperparts a soft grey brown, underparts a creamy buff.
- Legs, bill and eye black.
- Cap on Marsh is short and glossy, it is matt on Willow.
- The bib is shorter and neater than on Willow.
- The white cheeks are dull and less extensive than Willow's.
- It appears sleek and in proportion compared to Willows bull headed appearance.
- Marsh Tit does not show a pale wing panel, Willow Tit does.
- Marsh flanks and undertail are dirty cream whereas Willows is distinctly buffy.
- The bill is black, short and fragile looking, legs are dark grey, eye black.
- Juveniles appear from the end of April onwards and look like a washed out adult.
- Bill and eye black, legs dark.
Status and Distribution
The Marsh Tit is a declining breeding resident in the UK with about 53 thousand pairs, it is therefore 6 times commoner than Willow Tit. The Marsh Tit occurs in all counties throughout the England and Wales, it does not occur in Scotland or Ireland.
Marsh Tits occur in many habitat types throughout their range, however they specialise in damp deciduous woodland with suitable low wet scrub.
Marsh Tits will use Feeders and Bird Tables in the winter months, they will often bury food to dig out at a later date. They are Insect eaters but will take Seed Mixes and Peanuts in winter.
The key to a definite separation lies in the call….both Willow and Marsh call totally differently. Once you hear the call separation is easy.
Marsh Tit is an explosive…’bitchay’ the second syllable louder…sounds like a sneeze.
Song is a repeated single note..’chep chep chep’ also matwo note ‘di-chep de-chep de-chep’
Willow Tit… 2 parts to the call, the first is a short ‘zee zee’ followed by ‘dar dar dar’ so it goes ‘zee zee… dar..dar..dar’.