- Parus major
Includes: Turkestan Tit
12·5–14 cm (5-5½ in); the largest European tit
- Yellow and green
- Glossy black head
- White cheeks
- Vertical black stripe on chest (broader on male)
Juvenile: cheeks are yellowish
The occasional bird is much greyer than the typical one, and needs to be compared carefully to Coal Tit which has two wing bars, different shape to the white spot on rear head/nape, and looks larger headed.
From Europe and north Africa through central Asia to western China.
In Wisconsin, USA, this species has been observed regularly (including breeding) for nearly twenty years, but at this time the species is not considered established by any North American birding authorities.
- P. m. newtoni: in the British Isles
- P. m. major: Europe to north-western Iran, Siberia, Lake Baikal, Altai and Sayan mountains
- P. m. kapustini: North-western China (north-western Xinjiang) to Mongolia and eastern Siberia
- P. m. corsus: Iberian Peninsula and Corsica
- P. m. mallorcae: Balearic Islands
- P. m. ecki: Sardinia
- P. m. excelsus: North-western Africa (Morocco to Tunisia)
- P. m. aphrodite: Southern Italy, Sicily, southern Greece, Mediterranean islands and Cyprus
- P. m. niethammeri: Crete
- P. m. terraesanctae: North-western Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan
- P. m. blanfordi (karelini): Northern Iraq and Iran
- P. m. intermedius: North-eastern Iran and adjacent south-western Turkmenistan
- P. m. bokharensis: Russia to Tien Shan and Karatau mts. and north-western Afghanistan
- P. m. ferghanensis: Southern Kirgiz and western Tien Shan mts. to western Pamirs and Turkestan
- P. m. turkestanicus: Lake Balkhash to western China (Xinjiang) and south-western Mongolia
Parks, woodlands and gardens all over Europe
Frequent visitor to birdtables and seed-dispensers, thus well known. Bold, at times plain audacious, may take seed from outstretched hand. It tends to forage on the ground more often than other tit species.
Insects and seeds, suet, beech nuts etc.
Breeds in all kinds of woodland (incl. in desolate taiga in far north) and in immediate proximity of man in parks and gardens.
Nests in roomy nestbox, tree-hole (e.g. decayed fruit tree), air duct and even letterbox. The clutch consists of 5-12 white eggs spotted reddish-brown which are incubated for around 2 weeks. The young fledge at around 16-22 days.
There may be a second brood if there is plenty of food. The breeding season runs between April to August in the UK.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Bird Watching
- Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2014)
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) Great Tit. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 2 December 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Great_Tit
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