Crested Tit

Crested Tit

Key facts

Scientific name: Lophophanes cristatus
Status: Resident breeding species

Breeding birds: 1,000 – 2,000 pairs

Wintering birds: 5,200 – 9,500

Conservation status: Green
Length: 11 – 12 cm
Wingspan: 17 – 20 cm
Weight: 10 – 16 g

What do crested tits look like?

Male crested tits have grey-brown upperparts and a pale buff breast. The tail is brownish-grey edged with brown. The chin and throat are black.

It has a black and white head with a distinctive, short, spiky crest. The side of the head is creamy white and it has a black eye stripe. Crested tits’ bills are black and they have pale brown eyes and blueish-grey legs and feet.

Female crested tits are similar to males except the crest is shorter and narrower stripes on the head.

Juveniles are browner and the crest is shorter still.

How do crested tits breed?

Crested tits are monogamous and the pair-bonds last for a number of seasons. They build their nests in holes in decaying or dead tree trunks or in holes excavated by woodpeckers. Female crested tits build the cup-shaped nest which is constructed from moss, lichen, hair, wool, feathers and spiders’ webs.

Crested tits lay 5-10 smooth, glossy eggs which are incubated for 13-18 days. Both parents feed the chicks which fledge at 16-22 days after hatching. They still depend on their parents for a further 25 days.

What do crested tits eat?

Crested tits feed mainly on small invertebrates and larvae as well as spiders, beetles, moths, worms and snails. Outside of breeding season they will also eat seeds, berries, birch sap and some fruit.

Crested Tit

Where can I see crested tits ?

Crested tits can be seen all year round mainly in ancient Caledonian pine forests and Scots pine plantations of Scotland. They will also visit gardens to eat from bird tables and feeders. The occasional vagrant has been sighted in England.

What do crested tits sound like?

Jordi Calvet/xeno-canto

Did you know?

The Scottish crested tits are considered to be a sub-species of those found on mainland Europe.

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One Response

  1. Just spotted a crested tit in a hedge while walking the dog in the town of Tredegar Gwent S.Wales while visiting my sister am a keen birdwatcher but don’t know how to report this sighting as know they’re normally only found in the caledonian forests of Scotland know it was one was only 2 feet away looking straight at it thanks

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