Great Tit

Great Tit

Parus major

The Great Tit is the largest of the tit family, though still only about the same size as a sparrow.  Like all tits, it is a clever, lively bird and one of the most regular visitors to the garden.  It is famous for its ingenious theft of milk by pecking through the tops of milk bottles (remember those?).  But it is also a good friend to the gardener, thanks to its voracious appetite for caterpillars and other insects during the breeding season.

Description: The Great Tit is about 5 ½ in (14 cm) long.  It has a black cap, white cheeks, yellow breast with black vertical band, and a greeny-brown back.  The male and female are similar.  It has a wide variety of calls and songs, which vary during the year, including a musical two-syllable song in the spring.  It is sometimes seen in small flocks and mixes with other birds, though is somewhat less sociable than other tits.   

Nesting and breeding:  The breeding season lasts from late April to May, with a single brood. Great Tits are enthusiastic users of nest boxes.  In the wild, they build nests in tree or wall hollows, filling them with moss, hair or down.  The female then lays 5-12  white eggs with dense red-brown freckles.  The nestlings hatch after about 14 days, and are fed by both parents, flying after about 20 days. 

Where to see them

  • Great Tits are present all year throughout Britain, except in Orkney and Shetland 
  • They are most abundant in central and southern England  
  • They live in deciduous woodland, parks, farmland, mature hedgerows, parks and gardens – anywhere with suitable nesting sites in trees, walls or nest boxes  
  • What they eat

  • Great Tits are not fussy eaters, and will eat a wide range of insects, seeds, fruit, berries and even baby birds 
  • During the breeding season, the parents collect a huge quantity of caterpillars and insects for their young. It has been estimated that they destroy up to 8,000 insects in just three weeks
  • Great Tits are enthusiastic visitors to the garden, feeding from hanging feeders on seeds, peanuts and suet products  
  • Recommended Farbrook Farm foods: Peanuts, Premium Wild Bird Food, Fat Balls. 
  • Next Bird

    Back to Bird Finder

    Bird Food Suppliers UK - Wild Bird Food - Fat Balls - Bird Seed