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Coal Tit

A tiny bird usually encountered in coniferous woodland and in gardens that are near to such habitat

Photograph by: 
Peter Orchard

I am not sure whether I was surprised to see that the coal tit (Parus ater) was number 15 in the top garden birds list or not. They are certainly a regular visitor to our garden but we live quite close to Wareham Forest where they are very common amongst the coniferous woodland, I rarely see them seem to see them in any other habitat.

They are very active little birds that do not stay around long; in and out for a quick raid on the seed normally but this one paused long enough for me to get a snap and, obligingly, he turned his head to one side to show the diagnostic white stripe down the back.

The coal tit has a reputation for hoarding seed and we were amused for a couple of days last winter watching two of them in turn collect a seed from the container, then fly down and bury it in the garden. They never came back for them of course but I think the blackbirds found most of them.


 

Common Name Coal Tit
Scientific Name Parus ater
Species Group Birds Titmice and Wrens
Status Local
Interest Level
1
Visabile
  • 01 - January
  • 02 - February
  • 03 - March
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
  • 10 - October
  • 11 - November
  • 12 - December
Look for

White stripe along a black cap

Identification Notes
  • Will visit gardens near conifer woodlands in winter
  • Known for caching nuts and then not coming back for them!
  • Smaller and lacking the yellow of the great tit
Primary Habitat
Preferred Environment
Look for
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Birds Titmice and Wrens