lynda07's picture

Willow Tit?

Observed: 2nd April 2011 By: lynda07lynda07’s reputation in Birdslynda07’s reputation in Birdslynda07’s reputation in Birdslynda07’s reputation in Birds

Seen on a feeder at Pensthorpe.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


stephenmid's picture


It's either a marsh tit or a willow tit. Listening with anticipation for someone to say how to tell them apart.


lynda07's picture

Me too, thanks

Me too, thanks


janetseaton's picture

Same here! We have one that

Same here! We have one that visits our garden regularly, and we've assumed it's a willow tit because we're close to fields and small groups of trees, nowhere near a marsh.

ophrys's picture

Marsh tit

This is a Marsh Tit.

It has a very small black bib (barely visible, here), whereas Willow Tit often has a larger bib (the marking below the beak).

The secondary wing feathers form a panel which is the same colour as the bird's back, whereas Willow Tit has a panel which looks noticeably paler.

The beak has a narrow pale edge on the cutting edge, whereas Willow Tit has the cutting edge dark.

The latter is considered the most important point. They are nver easy, but this is a fairly obvious example.

RoyW's picture

Willow/Marsh Tit ID.

Many of the features that have previously been used to separate these two species are now considered unreliable.
Calls are the best means of identification if you know them, otherwise the best three features to use are now suggested to be the following:
1. Pale spot present on cutting edge of lower mandible (below 'nostril') on Marsh but not Willow.
2. Dark brown wash over rear cheeks on Marsh meaning the colour contrasts noticeably with the white ear coverts (if any wash is present in Willow it is a pale buff colour).
3. Pale wing panel absent in Marsh, typically present in Willow.

The details of this sighting should be reported because it is colour ringed (blue over white on left leg, yellow over metal on right leg), this may help to increase knowledge about its movements (I'll post a link later).

Edit: I see Ophrys has already given details!

lynda07's picture

Thank you for all of that

Thank you for all of that information. I have also reported the sighting to the web site Ophrys gave me.