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Willow Tit

Description



The Willow Tit is almost indinquihsable from the Marsh Tit, the main difference being a sooty brown instead of a glossy blue black cap, because of this it was not recognised as a breeding bird in Great Britain until the end of the 19th century, despite being widespread. It is between blue and great tits in size, and has a large sooty-black cap extending to the back of the neck and a small untidy black bib. It is mid-brown above, with whiter cheeks and pale buff-grey underparts. Its wings show a pale panel not found in marsh tits. Its recent population declines make it a Red List species.
Willow Tits are mainly in England and Wales, with some in South Scotland. Willow tits are often, but by no means exclusively, found in willow thickets in damp places, such as the edge of lowland peat bogs, marshes, and around gravel pits.

The Willow Tit often excavates its own nesting hole, even piercing hard bark; this is usually in a rotten stump or in a tree, more or less decayed. Most nests examined are cups of felted material, such as fur, hair and wood chips, but feathers are sometimes used. The number of eggs varies from six to nine, with reddish spots or blotches.
 

Quick Facts


Typical Lifespan
3 years

Age at First Breeding
1 year

Fledging
17-20 days

First clutches laid
Late April

Clutch Size
6-7 eggs

Incubation
13-15 days

Egg Weight
1.3 g

Egg Size
16x12 mm

First Record
1897

Habitat
Forest, woodland, often near water

Weight
12g

Wingspan
19 cm

Length
12 cm

Status in UK
Resident Breeder

Conservation Status UK
Red (Recent decline)

Number in Britain
17,000

Number of broods
1

Maximum Recorded Age
10 years, 4 months


 

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