Willow Tit

Willow Tit is a bird which is known scientifically by the name of Poecile montanus. These are passerine birds which belong to the family of tits known scientifically as Paridae. These are widespread and are common residents as well as breeders in the entire temperate as well as subarctic regions of Europe as well as Northern Asia. The Willow tits are conifer specialists when compared with their close relatives the Marsh tits. That is why majority of the breeding of the Willow tits occur in the northern regions. These birds are normally residents and migration is not present in the habit of these birds.



These willow tits are paler in the eastern regions when compared to their relative Marsh tits but as one moves toward the western regions, both the willow tits as well as marsh tits possess similar appearances. Because of this, these were not considered as breeding till the last part of 19th century, even though they were found in very large numbers.

The major distinction between the Willow tits and the Marsh tits is the presence of sooty brown cap in Willow tits. In the Marsh tits, the cap is glossy bluish black in colour. Otherwise, general colour of both the tits is similar. But the under body parts of the Willow tits have more buff colour. The flanks are also more rufous. Pale buff edgings which are to the secondary are formed as light patches on closed wings.

The feathers present in the crown of these willow tits as well as black bib which is present under bill of these birds are longer. But these are not noticed faster. The tail is more in a graduated fashion, than in a square fashion. The length is around eleven and a half centimetres and the wings have a range which falls into 60 millimetres and 70 millimetres.

The call of these willow tits is very common which is nasal and of a sound zee, zee. But one can notice that the notes which these birds let out possess a very evident variety. Occasionally, double notes of ipsee, ipsee can be heard which may be repeated for around four to five times.

The nesting holes of these Willow tits are very often excavated by themselves. This is done even if they have to pierce the hard barks of the trees. Generally, these willow tits make their nesting holes in the rotten stump of a tree or on a rotten tree. But very rarely one can see the nests being made on a living tree.

The nests of the willow tits have a shape which resembles to those of cups. These nests are made using felted material like hair, fur as well as chips of the wood. There are cases where feathers are also used in making the nests.

The eggs laid by the female willow tits have a range which falls between six and nine. These eggs contain blotches or spots which are reddish in nature.

The major foods of these birds are insects, caterpillars as well as seeds.