Bird of the month – October 2023

Have you seen the bird of the month?

For October it is the: Coal Tit (Periparus ater)

Coal Tit
Coal Tit

Where can I find them?

A less common bird to be seen or heard within the reserve.

The best place to see or hear them is in the Kitchen Garden, Netley Meadow, at our Bird Feeding Stations (October – March) and in the Conifers that back along MacGrorys Meadow.

About the species

Not as colourful as the Blue Tit and.  The Coal Tit has a distinctive grey back with a black cap.  The back of the neck has a white patch.  They are smaller than a Blue Tit or Great Tit.

The species is on the UK green list, meaning its population is currently stable.

They weigh around 8-10g and have an average lifespan of 2 years.

Their diet is mainly insects, seeds, and nuts.  At our bird feeding stations, they can be seen feeding from the seed feeders before flying off into cover.  They are also known to carry food away to store it elsewhere.

What do they sound like?

They can call almost as loud as a Great Tit, sounds similar but less persistent.  Their call sounds like “pee-chew, pee-chew” or “titcha-titcha”

Where do they nest and what is the nest made from?

The Coal Tit normally nests sightly earlier than the Blue Tit.  They will use small holes or disused hollows in trees and bird boxes with smaller holes, that stops larger birds from taking over the box.

The nest is made of moss with only the female incubating the eggs.  Males will continue to be close by to bring in food for the female and young. They are also known to re-use a nest, but not normally in the same year.

Coal Tit
Coal Tit

If you manage to spot and photograph a Coal Tit, within the reserve, why not share it on our Facebook page?