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Spotting And Photographing The Marsh Tit

Spotting And Photographing The Marsh Tit - Here's a guide to spotting and photographing the marsh tit with the help of Eschenbach.

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Eschenbach Arena D+ 10x50 B in Animals / Wildlife

marsh tit

The marsh tit always has something to eat. This is partly due to its habitat, which has little to do with marshes.

Appearance

The marsh tit is roughly as big as the blue tit, around twelve centimeters long. Its plumage, however, is very different. The basic colour is greyish brown, chest and belly are rather dirty-white to beige coloured. The glossy black crown and nape contrast with the white cheeks and ear caps. It also has a black spot on the throat just below the beak.

The identification of the marsh tit can sometimes be tricky because of its twin cousin, the willow tit. At first glance, the two species are confusingly similar. The willow tit, however, has a larger black spot on the throat. Its crown is also black but lacks the glossiness of the marsh tit crown. The safest way to distinguish them is their vocals. A ringing “schip-schip-schip-schip” indicates the marsh tit, while the - by the way much rarer - willow tit often makes a nasal “zee – zee - zee”

Occurrence

The marsh tit is a sedentary bird and one of our typical winter birds. It is quite common in Central Europe, from Wales and central England in the north to Spain in the south. In the Mediterranean, they can be found along the French coast as well as in Italy, Sicily and the Balkans.

Do not be fooled by its name because you will hardly find it in wetlands. Rather, it lives in moist deciduous and mixed forests as well as in parks, cemeteries and older orchards. During winter you will occasionally observe marsh tits using bird feeders.

Behavior and facts

Similarly to squirrels, marsh tits store a large amount of food, especially in autumn. They collect dead insects and seeds and hide them in various places: in crevices, under moss and lichen or in dense shrubbery. A marsh tit can hide hundreds of seeds in one day. Those seeds are often stolen by small rodents.

Marsh tits mate early in life, are monogamous and often form a pair for life. The courtship begins in spring and consists in strong singing and wing flickering. Once they have mated, the male begins bringing food to the female even before she lays the eggs. The couple looks for a proper nest together, examining various tree holes. Nest boxes are sometimes used when better alternatives are lacking (for example in coniferous forests).

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Comments


spr 8 United States
1 Dec 2017 6:37PM
The marsh tit is not my favourite.

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