Coal Tit

Periparus ater

Coal Tits are slightly smaller than Blue Tits, with olive-grey upperparts and buff underparts. Although they are reminiscent of both Willow and Marsh Tit, they have a characteristic head pattern, with a black bib, white cheeks and a black cap that extends down to the base of the neck at the sides. In the middle of this black cap, running from just below the top of the head back down to the neck, is a rectangular white patch, so this is one species where a back view can help identification.

The calls of the Coal Tit are a bit like a weedy, higher-pitched version of the Great Tit, with a thin-sounding ‘tsee-tsee-tsee’ call and a basic song of ‘teachoo-teachoo-teachoo’ repeated several times.

Coal Tits will use nest boxes but they lose out in competition with Blue Tits or Great Tits and prefer their boxes to be low down (1m or less to the ground).

  • Small nest box with hole (25mm)
  • The nest is made of moss and lined with soft material such as hair
  • Egg laying starts between late March and late June. Sometimes two broods
  • 9 to 10 eggs. White with speckling
  • Incubation time: 14-16 days
  • Nestlings fledge after 16 or 19 days