Willow Tit

The Willow Tit, Parus montanus, is a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. It is a widespread and common resident breeder throughout temperate and subarctic Europe and northern Asia. It is more of a conifer specialist than the closely related Marsh Tit, which explains it breeding much further north. It is resident, and most birds do not migrate. In the west of its range, it is very similar to the Marsh Tit, but as one goes east it is found to be much paler.

They have a sooty brown cap, grayish underparts, brownish red flanks and pale beige secondary wings. The feathers of the crown of the Willow Tit are longer than that of the Marsh Tit and have a more graduated (not square) tail. The adult is about 4.5 inches long.

The Willow Tit often excavates its own nesting hole, even piercing hard bark, 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.

Birds feed on caterpillars, insects and seeds, much like other tits.