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Great Tits in Ireland

Great Tit

The Great Tit is one of Ireland's top twenty most widespread garden birds. It is the largest Irish and European tit and is about the size of a House Sparrow.

The Great Tit's crown, nape and throat are black. Their cheeks are white and the breast and belly are yellow with a black stripe down the centre. These attractive birds have a white wing bar across the blue-grey wings. They have yellowish-green backs and the rump is bluish-grey. Great Tit legs are grey-blue and the beak is black.

It is possible to identify the sex of the Great Tit by the width of the black stripe down the breast. Males have a broader stripe than the females. Juvenile Great Tits are paler and duller with yellowish cheeks and wing bar.

Irish Name for Great Tit

The Irish word for Great Tit is Meantán mór.

Great Tit Feeding

Great Tits feed mainly on insects, seeds and nuts. They will use peanut feeders and take scraps from bird tables.

They sometimes follow Coal Tits to their caches of seeds in the likes of hanging baskets.

The average lifespan of a healthy Great Tit is three years however one specimen lived almost 14 years - a record set in 1990.

Great Tits Nesting

Great Tit nest with egg

Great Tits breed throughout Ireland preferring broad-leaved woodland, but also in farmland, parks and gardens. They nests in cavities in a tree or wall often selecting unusual sites such as a pipe or letterbox. Great Tits will readily use a nestbox.

Great Tit eggs measure 18mm by 14mm. They are smooth and glossy with white with purple-red spots. The hen incubates the eggs by herself however after the chicks hatch they are fed by both the male and female. Incubation takes up to 15 days and the young will have fledged by 21 days.

Interesting Facts About Great Tits

The black stripe on the belly of a male Great Tit is an indicator of its status. The larger stripes are more attractive to females.

Great Tit

Scientific Name:
Parus major

Order:
Passeriformes

Family:
Paridae

Irish Status:
Resident

Length: 14cm Wingspan: 24cm Weight: M & F: 18g

Call: Distinctive two-syllable song.

Habitat: Woodland, scrub, urban areas.

Diet: Butterflies, beetles and spiders, in winter - seeds and fruit.

Nesting:
April - May
Breeding Age:
From 1 year
Number of Eggs:
7-9
No. of Clutches:
1 - 2
Incubation (days):
13-15
Fledging (days):
18-21
Lifespan:
3 years

Conservation Status in Ireland: Green

Great Tit Range in Ireland

The Great Tit is resident throughout Ireland.

Map of the range of Great Tites in Ireland.

Arctic Terns in Ireland - Blue Tits in Ireland - Coal Tits in Ireland - Goldfinches in Ireland - Great Tits in Ireland - Grey Herons in Ireland - Jackdaws in Ireland - Longtailed Tits in Ireland - Magpies in Ireland - Mallards in Ireland - Mistle Thrushes in Ireland - Mute Swans in Ireland - Pheasants in Ireland - Puffins in Ireland - Robins in Ireland - Rooks in Ireland - Song Thrushes in Ireland - Starlings in Ireland - Swallows in Ireland - Swans in Tallaght - Swans Oil-Damaged - Waxwings in Ireland - Woodpigeons in Ireland - Wrens in Ireland

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