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Interesting facts about the great tit

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We found 21 interesting facts about the great tit

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Although it does best in wild and forested areas, it also has no problem acclimatizing near populated areas.

This industrious and useful bird can be useful in gardening, which thanks to its unbridled appetite is free from all kinds of caterpillar infestations. Outside the breeding season, tits remain in their territory, where they spend the winter. Although harsh weather conditions and lack of adequate nutrition can prove fatal to them, they are often helped by people who happily feed the birds their favorite treats.


The common great tit is widespread throughout most of Eurasia.

It can be found throughout Europe except Iceland and northern Scandinavia. It is also found on numerous islands in the Mediterranean, North Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), the Middle East and parts of Central Asia from northern Iran and Afghanistan to Mongolia, and northern Asia from the Urals to northern China. and the Amur Valley.

It covers an area of ​​3,4 million km2, i.e. 3,5 times the area of ​​the United States.


They can be found in a wide variety of habitats.

They live in the open air deciduous forests, mixed forests, edges and gardens. In dense forests, including coniferous ones, they live only in forest clearings.


These are small birds whose body length does not exceed 16 cm.

Adults weigh from 20 to 30 g.


With rare exceptions, tits do not migrate.

Pairs usually remain near or in each other's territory year-round, with young birds straying only a short distance from their parents' territory.

To learn more …


Great tits are omnivores.

In the summer season they prefer insects and spiders but they also feed cochlea. Besides animals, they also eat food. seed (eg sunflower) and fruits. Sunflower seeds are most desirable in winter. It's worth feeding them this food because they clearly like it. In severe winters, almost half of their diet can consist of this food.

They hunt most of all during the period of feeding the chicks. During the breeding season, they feed the chicks with caterpillars., which are a rich source of protein. 


One family of tits can eat up to 3 million insects in a year.

By weight it is approximately 75 kg.


In case of food shortage, tits may begin hunting small vertebrates.

Other, smaller songbirds and bats become their victims.


They are very useful in gardening.

Research published in 2007 found that chickadees reduce caterpillar damage in apple orchards by as much as 50%.


The great tit is capable of making more than 200 different sounds.


These are territorial birds.

There have been reports of other birds dying during competition for nesting territory. In the winter season, they also kill birds, although for other reasons - for food.


Tits are monogamous. During the breeding season, they create nesting territories, which in subsequent years are most often occupied by the same individuals.

Even if one of the parents does not live to see the next season, but managed to raise young animals in a given territory, next year there is a good chance of founding a new pair in the same territory, which includes the surviving parent.


They build nests in hollows of trees and hollows of stones.

They may also nest in holes in the walls of buildings. The female is responsible for building the nest and lining it with materials such as plant fibers, grass, moss, hair, wool and feathers.


They have two broods per season.

A large number of birds hatch in one litter, there can be up to eighteen of them. However, the litter is usually smaller and consists of five to twelve young individuals. Usually the second brood is smaller.

To learn more …


Great tit eggs are white with reddish speckles.

They are incubated by the female, who is fed by her partner at this time. The incubation period ranges from 12 to 15 days. Tits are able to change incubation time to adapt to food availability.


Young tits are born blind and without feathers.

When the first feathers appear, they are colored the same as their parents. This is a rather unusual feature, since most newly hatched birds have a camouflaged dark coloration.

The chicks grow quickly and remain in the nest for about two and a half to three weeks. After leaving the nest, it takes them a week to become independent from their parents.  Arnstein Renning / CC BY-SA 3.0


The chicks are fed by both parents.

The daily amount of feed that chickens receive is about 7 gram. Parents also check the condition of the nest and keep it clean by removing excrement.

Even after the young become independent, the parents can feed them for another 25 days, and in the case of a second brood, even longer.


The main enemy of tits is the sparrowhawk.

The largest number of tits killed occurs in the second brood, since it is during this period that the sparrowhawk’s need for food is greatest.

Their nests are attacked by large woodpeckers and squirrels, which can get rid of the chicks. Tits are also hunted by weasels, which, once in the nest, can kill even adult tits.


The average lifespan of these birds is 3 years.

The previous record holder was 15 years old.


In Poland, the great tit is a strictly protected species.

Their main threats are predators and harsh winter conditions, which can lead to freezing or starvation.


In winter, tits are fed by people.

As we wrote earlier, they love seeds. Besides seed mixtures, they also love to eat lard. 


The great tit is not an endangered species.

Its population is estimated between 300 million and 1,1 billion individuals.

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