Great Tit

In North America tits are commonly known as titmice and chickadees. There are 76 species of tits. The largest and most widespread are true tits (55 species in family Paridae with the majority belonging to one genus, Parus). Great tit or Great titmouse is found over much of Europe, Asia and spreading to North America. The male and female can be told apart by the width of the breast band, which is wider on males.

Great Tit Parus major

Great tit (Parus major) Photo by Larysa Johnston

Great tits seem to be quite smart and are usually the first to investigate new birdfeeders. They make a great variety of calls. The birds are aggressive to other birds and can kick quite hard with their feet. The species is abundant in woodlands, gardens and parks.

All true tits nest in holes. Some are even able to excavate their own holes in rotten timber. They also use abandoned nests of large birds or squirrels, old cans, holes in the ground, while in the gardens they willingly use birdhouses. Tropical tits lay 3 to 4 eggs, while those living in temperate latitudes lay from 15 to 16 eggs. They work very hard to provide food for their nestlings, foraging for the whole of the day.

Great tits feed on seeds and fruits, and spiders and insect larva during the breeding season.

References

  1. Bird Notes: Great Tits.




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