Great tit

The songbird that occasionally eats bats

Luc_Viatour

A charismatic and widespread bird species known for its distinctive appearance, vocalizations, and adaptability to various habitats across Europe, Asia, and North Africa. With glistening white cheeks, uncrested blackheads, and a grey back contrasting with olive-yellow to whitish underparts adorned with a broad black band down the center, the Great Tit is easily recognizable.

These birds are notable inhabitants of well-wooded localities, including gardens, parks, and farm hedges. Their range extends across parts of Central Asia, the Middle East, Northern Africa, many Mediterranean islands, and most of Europe. Despite their preference for wooded habitats, they are highly adaptable and can thrive in urban and suburban environments.

The Great Tit’s diet primarily consists of insects, making them valuable allies in controlling insect populations, especially during the breeding season when they feed insects to their nestlings. However, they also consume fruits, berries, and kitchen scraps, displaying opportunistic feeding behavior. In some instances, they have been observed preying on small hibernating bats, showcasing their versatility in food procurement.

As cavity nesters, Great Tits readily accept nest boxes and exhibit competitive behavior when it comes to securing nesting sites. Their high level of intelligence and adaptability to man-made habitats make them successful breeders in urban and suburban areas. They are known for their vocalizations, with two-syllable songs being common, especially during the breeding season when males sing to attract mates and establish territories.

In addition to their ecological significance and behavioral traits, Great Tits also play a role in scientific research. They have been the subject of numerous studies exploring various aspects of avian behavior, ecology, and physiology, contributing valuable insights into broader ecological and evolutionary processes.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2016
Albania
2016
Algeria
2016
Andorra
2016
Armenia
2016
Austria
2016
Azerbaijan
2016
Bangladesh
2016
Belarus
2016
Belgium
2016
Bhutan
2016
Bosnia And Herz.
2016
Bulgaria
2016
Cambodia
2016
China
2016
Croatia
2016
Cyprus
2016
Czechia
2016
Denmark
2016
Egypt
2016
Estonia
2016
Finland
2016
France
2016
Georgia
2016
Germany
2016
Gibraltar
2016
Greece
2016
Hong Kong
2016
Hungary
2016
Iceland
2016
Vagrant
Indonesia
2016
Iran
2016
Iraq
2016
Ireland
2016
Israel
2016
Italy
2016
Japan
2016
Jordan
2016
Kazakhstan
2016
Korea
2016
Kyrgyzstan
2016
Laos
2016
Latvia
2016
Lebanon
2016
Liechtenstein
2016
Lithuania
2016
Luxembourg
2016
Malaysia
2016
Malta
2016
Vagrant
Moldova
2016
Mongolia
2016
Montenegro
2016
Morocco
2016
Myanmar
2016
Nepal
2016
Netherlands
2016
North Korea
2016
North Macedonia
2016
Norway
2016
Poland
2016
Portugal
2016
Romania
2016
Russia
2016
Serbia
2016
Slovakia
2016
Slovenia
2016
Spain
2016
Sweden
2016
Switzerland
2016
Syria
2016
Taiwan
2016
Vagrant
Tajikistan
2016
Thailand
2016
Tunisia
2016
Turkey
2016
Turkmenistan
2016
Ukraine
2016
United Kingdom
2016
Uzbekistan
2016
Vietnam
2016

Did you know?

  • They are highly competitive around their nests/nest boxes and may kill other birds/species to acquire the site.
  • They are recorded using tools and tricks to obtain their food.
  • Very quick learners, too!

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Get to know me

Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No