richard.symonds's picture

Unusual Blue-tit

Observed: 24th November 2010 By: richard.symonds

Whilst visiting a relative who had bird feeders on his balcony, this delightful russet-cloured blue-tit landed to feed. Has anyone else seen such colour variations and are they common?

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Yashca's picture

What is odd about this Great Tit

I think what is odd is the brown colouration on the head and down the centre of the breast, rather than the typical black colouration.

ophrys's picture


The narrow stripe down the belly makes it a female Great Tit.

Is the colour on the bird itself, or just created by the view though a window? the latter, I would have thought...


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richard.symonds's picture

Unusual Great tit

My father tells me it returned yesterday and no, the colouration is not due to the glass of the window. The bird is definately marked as photo shows. The last person to make comment (syrphus) says there is nothing unusual, yet unless it is a juvenile, why the russet colouring instead of the normal black? This is the first one of its kind I have seen (perhaps I should get out more!!)

Syrphus's picture

I just could not make out

I just could not make out with certainty what in the posted picture was odd. Now that you point it out, I can persuade myself that the crown is brownish.

If the bits that should be black are russet, then it may be a form of erythrism where faults in the pigment biochemistry produce these effects. I have never seen this in Great Tit, but I have seen leucistic Great Tit (where the colours are washed with white). There is a leucistic Chaffinch somewhere on this site.



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