Great Tit

Parus major

The Great Tit has all the characters of the other tits and is unmistakable, given its large, robust size, relatively heavy bill and domed head. The head pattern shows a black cap (glossy in males), neck collar and bib set against white cheeks. The back is green turning blue-grey towards the rump and tail and on to the wings. The underside is a bright lemon yellow with a central black stripe running down from the throat. This black stripe is wider and more strongly developed in males than it is in females. Sometimes in the field you can see that in the male the black stripe extends across the belly to the base of both legs, while in the female it is not so broad and does not reach the legs. 

Great Tits make a range of calls, including the scolding ‘cha-cha-cha’ that has a strong nasal quality. The most familiar sound is the basic song, usually described as ‘teacher-teacher’.

Although adults will feed themselves on sunflower hearts and other seeds, they need to find plenty of caterpillars for their growing youngsters. Parents are likely to collect these from near-by trees and garden shrubs. 

  • Small nest box with hole (28mm)
  • Nest height: 1m to 5m above ground with clear flight path to entrance
  • The nest consists of twigs or course, dried roots, then there is a layer of moss and a lining of soft material such as hair
  • Egg laying starts between late March and early July. Sometimes two broods
  • 7 to 9 eggs. White with speckling, more on one end
  • Incubation time: 13-15 days
  • Nestlings fledge after 18-21 days