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side view of great tit on a branch

Great Tit

Parus major

Key Facts

  • Length: 14cm
  • Wingspan: 24cm
  • Weight: 18g
  • Average Lifespan: 3 years

The largest of the UK’s tits, Great Tits are birds of woodland, parks and gardens where they nest in holes in trees but are just as happy to use nestboxes as substitutes.

Tits are active feeders, hunting out insects and spiders amongst the smaller branches and leaves of trees in woodlands. But they are also well-adapted to gardens and towns and will visit birdtables, fighting off other, smaller tits to get to the food. Great Tits have a distinctive song: listen out for a high-pitched bicycle pump or ‘teacher teacher’ sound.

How to Identify

Unmistakeable: Great Tits have a black head, white cheeks, green back, yellow belly and black stripe down the breast.

Where to Find

Widespread.

How People Can Help

You can help to look after Great Tits and other garden birds by providing food and water for them – it doesn’t matter if you have a big garden or live in a high-rise flat, there are plenty of feeders, baths and food choices out there to suit all kinds of situations. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there’s plenty of facts and tips to get you started. To buy bird food or feeders, visit the Vine House Farm website – an award-winning wildlife-friendly farm which gives 5% of all its takings to The Wildlife Trusts.

Did you know?

Male Great Tits have a broad black stripe on the belly, whereas females have a much thinner black stripe. The stripe on the male is an indicator of status and whether the male will be a good choice as a father. The wider the stripe, the more attractive the male is to females.

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