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“Marsh
Scientific name: Poecile palustris
Status: Resident breeding species
Breeding pairs: 41,000 territories
Wintering birds:
Conservation status: Red
Length: 11.5 cm
Wingspan: 18-20 cm
Weight: 10-13 g

Description: Adult marsh tits have grey-brown upperparts, tail and wings with off-white underparts with a brown tinge. They have black caps and napes with a blueish sheen and a small black bib. Their cheeks are white with dusky ear coverts. Marsh tits bills are black, their eyes are black and their legs and feet are dark grey. Male and female adults look similar.

Juvenile marsh tits are similar to adults but with a duller black cap and paler under and upperparts.

Marsh tits and willow tits are hard to tell apart with the pale cutting edge of the marsh tit’s bill a reliable distinguishing feature.

Nesting: Marsh tits build their nests in holes in trees, walls and sometimes on the ground. They make a nest of moss lined with hair and feathers.

Marsh tits lay 5-9 white eggs with red speckles which are incubated by the female for 14-16 days. Male marsh tits help with feeding the chicks which fledge after 18-21 days.

Feeding: Marsh tits eat mostly spiders and insects but will also eat seeds, nuts and berries during autumn and winter.

Where to see them: Marsh tits are found in woodland, copses, parks and gardens throughout England and Wales with a few in southern Scotland.
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Credit: Matthias Hemprich

Did you know? Marsh tits will hoard seeds burying and hiding them for another day. Their hippocampus which is the part of the brain responsible for remembering things is larger than that of a great tit.


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