Coal Tit (British) (Periparus ater)

Smaller and more agile than the Great Tit or Blue Tit, the Coal Tit is an adept feeder in conifers and a regular visitor to peanut feeders in British gardens. During the winter they will join flocks of mixed tits within woodlands. Within the UK there are thought to be around 760,000 breeding pairs with the population mainly residential with some visiting European birds in the south east but European birds are often a different sub species with those from colder areas being physically bigger

They have a habit of hording seeds and grains for when food is scarce but often forget and then raid their own food stash. Insects, conifer seeds and beech mast make up the common diet of this bird

Young have a light yellow plumage rather than the white of an adult. The young leave the nest about 19 days after hatching. If placing nest boxes the Coal Tit prefers ones lower to the ground that Blue Tits so by placing them about 1 meter or lower this helps them compete with their more colourful relative. The call of the Coal tit is a thinner higher pitched version of the Great tit call. Although typical life span is about 2 years one individual was recorded living to over 18 years.

The Coal tit has a grey back, black head with white patches. Underneath the adults are white at the front, slowly turning yellow/ pale-red towards the back.

Nesting is similar to the Blue tit with breeding in mid-April with nests in small hollows and mouse holes lined with moss. 7-12 smooth glossy white eggs with brown speckles are laid which hatch 14-16 days later. The female tends the eggs alone but the male helps feed the young after they hatch.

Wooodland, in particular conifer woods. Also found in gardens.

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paridae
Genus: Periparus
Species: Ater

The Coal Tit lives across almost all of Europe and in a band across central Asia, eastern China and Japan, with patches further south. There are also populations in North Africa. TH Coal Tit can be found across the entire UK.

Physical Details
Length: 10-11.5cm
Weight: 8-10g
Lifespan: 2 years