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Spotting And Photographing The Marsh Tit

Written by Gina Stephens

The slough tit always has something to eat. This is partly due to its habitat, which has little to do with marshes marsh is a wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species.

Appearance

The marsh tit is roughly as big as the blue tit, around twelve centimeters extensive. Its plumage, however, is very different. The basic colour is greyish brown, chest and belly are rather dirty-white to beige coloured. The glossy inky 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 slough 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 speck 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 bog 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 wholly 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 strand 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 diverse forests as well as in parks, cemeteries and older orchards. During winter you will occasionally observe marsh tits using bird feeders.

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Behavior and accomplishments

Similarly to squirrels, marsh tits store a large amount of food, especially in autumn. They collect dead insects and pits 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 motives 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 unexpectedly and consists in strong singing and wing flickering. Once they have mated, the male begins bringing food to the female even ahead she lays the eggs. The couple looks for a proper nest together, examining various tree holes. Nest boxes are sometimes used when improved alternatives are lacking (for example in coniferous forests).

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Republished: ephotozine.com

About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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