Animals

Bird Of The Week: Coal Tit

Monday, 8 April 2019

By Kieren Puffett

The coal tit is another member of the tit family and similar in size to the blue tit though it lacks its brighter colours. The coal tit has a distinctive grey back with black cap and white patch at the base of its neck, colouring that makes it more like a willow or marsh tit, which it can often be confused with.

The coal tit can be found all over the UK and I can be spotted in gardens. The coal tit prefers a diet of insects, beech mast and conifer seeds and they will also feed on sunflower seeds and occasionally suet if left out in bird feeders or on bird tables.

If there is plenty of food the coat tit will hoard it by hiding it in different places for later when times are harder. However, while the coal tit can be clever in hiding food, it’s not so good at remembering where it hid the food in the first place.

Away from gardens, coal tits can be found in woodlands and parks, and it’s during winter they tend to gather with other members of the tit family to hunt for food.

Coal tits tend to choose nesting sites in trees or even in mouse holes, and build nests out of moss, wool and dead leaves and line the nest with moss. Coal tits tend to breed in mid-April and it’s the female that incubates the eggs with both parents feeding the young once they hatch.