Willow Tit

Willow Tit

Key facts

Scientific name: Poecile montanus
Status: Resident breeding species

UK breeding: 3,400 pairs

Conservation status: Red
Length: 11.5 cm
Wingspan: 17 – 19 cm
Weight: 8 – 14 g

What do willow tits look like?

Adult willow tits have grey-brown upperparts, tail, and wings, which have a distinctive lighter panel. Their underparts are grey-white. They have matt black caps and napes and a black bib. Their cheeks are white and they have dusky ear coverts.

Willow tits have black bills, black eyes, and dark grey legs and feet. Male and females look similar.

Juvenile marsh tits are similar to adults but the black cap is duller and they have paler under and upperparts.

How do willow tits breed?

Willow tits make their nests in trees. They excavate a hole in decaying wood which they line with hair, fur, wood chips, and sometimes feathers. They will occasionally use nest boxes if they are filled with wood chips.

They lay 6-8 white smooth, glossy eggs with reddish spots and blotches which are incubated by the female alone for 13-15 days. After hatching the chicks are fed by both parents and they fledge at 17-19 days.

What do willow tits eat?

Willow tits eat mainly insects but in autumn and winter will supplement their diet with seeds and berries.

Willow Tit

Where can I see willow tits ?

Willow tits are found all year round in England, Wales, and southern Scotland. They can be spotted in willow thickets and other damp places such as peat bogs, marshes, and near gravel pits.

What do willow tits sound like?

Stanislas Wroza/xeno-canto

Did you know?

There are 14 subspecies of willow tit. The one resident in the UK is P. m. kleinschmidti, and others can be found as far afield as China, Japan, and Kazakhstan.

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One Response

  1. Just had a visit from a Willow tit on my bird feeder. I haven’t ever seen one before. That takes the total to 29 different species of birds visiting.
    I have even had a visit from a Reed Warbler & there are no reeds around here in North Yorkshire

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