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BTO Blueline
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BTO Blueline
Parus major
Great Tit © Tommy Holden

• Population

• Productivity

• Additional

Conservation listings
Europe: no SPEC category (favourable conservation status in Europe, not concentrated in Europe)
UK: green (species level, race major); amber (race newtoni, >20% of European breeders)
Long-term trend
UK: rapid increase
England: moderate increase
UK population size
2,074,000 territories in 2000 (1988–91 Atlas estimate updated using CBC/BBS trend: BiE04, APEP06)
Status summary
Great Tits have increased steadily since the 1960s, with the exception of two brief periods of stability or shallow decline during the mid 1970s and late 1980s. Recent CBC/BBS and BBS results suggest that this increase is continuing, in all UK countries. More widespread food provision in gardens during winter is one possible explanation for the increase. Alongside population increase there has been a long-term decline in productivity, as measured by CES. A small but significant fall in the number of fledglings per breeding attempt suggests that the reduced numbers of juveniles result from lower productivity of individual attempts rather than from changes in the number of breeding attempts or in post-fledging survival rates. Laying date has advanced by about a week in the UK, in line with climatic change. In a Dutch study population, however, the breeding period did not advance during 1973–95 and became increasingly mistimed with respect to the peak of insect abundance (Visser et al. 1998).
CBC/BBS UK graph

1967-2008: 109% (confidence interval 86% to 137%)

Population changes in detail

 Demographic trends

Fledglings per breeding attempt graph
Laying date graph
More on demographic trends
Additional information

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This report should be cited as: Baillie, S.R., Marchant, J.H., Leech, D.I., Renwick, A.R., Joys, A.C., Noble, D.G., Barimore, C., Conway, G.J., Downie, I.S., Risely, K. & Robinson, R.A. (2010). Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2010. BTO Research Report No. 565. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

Pages maintained by Iain Downie, Mandy T Andrews and Laura Smith: Last updated 25.10.2010