Mobile bird identification
Note the warm buff-orange underside of this bird with large pale cheeks. This image also highlights the Willow Tits pale wing panel.
Widespread resident bird throughout Europe. Rare in the UK, absent from Northern Scotland, considered a species of concern in the UK due to decreasing breeding numbers which was only 3400 pairs in 2009.
Can be found in deciduous and coniferous woodland, often in Birch trees in the vicinity of water.
The rare Willow Tit is a difficult bird to identify being almost identical to the Marsh Tit, no single visual identification factor can be used alone for proof of identification, as plumage varies slightly within each species and a combination of factors will need to be noted in order to be confident of the birds identity. The birds calls however are very different and if heard can make identification more straight forward.
Willow Tit Poecile montana
Thanks to:www.flickr.com/photos/franco_baresi/ (Modified)
Species: P. montana
Thanks to:www.flickr.com/photos/gartenfreuden (Modified)
Warm orange buff flanks
Small blue and yellow bird
Black stripe down breast
Bright yellow underside
Black head with white nape patch
Pointed distinctive crest
Plain wings, no wing bars
Black mark down face on male
Broad black mark across face
Red-brown band on wings
Willow Tit or Marsh Tit?
|| Marsh Tit
|| Large, no neck
||Smaller, longer neck
|| White face curves right up to nape
|| White face smaller, not to nape
|Crown colour & shape
|| Dull mate black, narrow at nape
|| Shiny black, wide at nape
|| Larger black patch
|| Smaller black patch
||Distinctive pale panel
|| Plain winged
||Warm buff with orange-buff flanks
||Plain black with pale mark on upper bill below nostril
||Rounder tail corners
||High & low in both Deciduous & Coniferous
||Usually low on deciduous
Dull black cap
Pale wing panel
Pale orange buff flanks
Dull brown back
Grey buff underside
Willow Tit (left), Marsh Tit (right):
Compare the size of the pale cheeks, the Willow Tits runs right up the the black nape, the Marsh Tits pale cheeks are much smaller.
Unlike the Willow Tit, this Marsh Tit lacks the warm buff-orange flanks and the upper-parts are more grey-brown than dull-brown. You can also see the smaller pale cheeks on this bird with a buff-brown shading running up to the nape from the back.