Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide
A common widespread resident bird throughout the UK and Europe.
Can be found in any mixed woodland but the bird has a distinct preference for coniferous trees. The Coal Tit is a frequent visitor to garden bird feeders in the winter.
The Coal tit is one of the smallest European birds frequently seen in mixed winter flocks of other tits. Male and female birds are similar but juvenile birds have yellowish coloured cheek patches.
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Coal Tit

Periparus ater
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Tits & Allies Menu
Order: Passeriformes

Family: Paridae

Genus: Periparus

Species: P. ater
Coal Tit identification points
Other Tit's
Marsh tit
Shiny black cap
Plain winged
White face
Grey-brown upperparts
Grey-buff underparts
Great Tit
Coal Tit
Blue Tit
Long-tailed Tit
Willow Tit (Rare)
Dull black cap
Pale wing panel
White face
Dull brown back
Warm orange buff flanks
Long-tailed Tit
Long thin tail
Dull white head
Pink and brown back
White underside
Small round appearance
Blue Tit
Small blue and yellow bird
White cheeks
Bright blue cap
Dark line through eye
Black chin
Great Tit
Shiny black head
Bold white cheek
Black stripe down breast
Bright yellow underside
Large for a Paridae
Coal Tit
Black head with white nape patch
Greyish back
Bright buff underside
Large black bib
Two white wing bars
Crested Tit
Pointed distinctive crest
White face
Buff underside
Plain wings, no wing bars
Brown back
Crested Tit
Blue-grey head
Rufus brown body
Streaked wings
Long tail
Black mark down face on male
Bearded Tit
Bearded Tit
Penduline Tit
Broad black mark across face
Red-brown back
Dull white underside
Pale grey face
Red-brown band on wings
Penduline Tit (Rare)
Black head
White cheeks
Black bib
White nape
Greyish back
Bright buff underside
Coal Tit
Thanks to: (Modified)
Coal Tit
White wing and shoulder bars
Thanks to: (Modified)
Note the distinctive white nape patch which distinguishes it from all of the other common tits. The white cheeks and large black bib are also clearly shown in the photo.
This photo illustrates how the birds white nape patch can be hidden, the white cheek patches and wing bars are still visible along with the large black bib. When not at winter bird tables it is most frequently seen feeding high in conifers.