Belongs to: tits

Bearded tit Panurus biamicus

Also known as: reedling, bearded parrotbill

Birds of Conservation Concern Amber List


Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Long-tailed reed bed specialist, actually related to thrushes rather than tits

Habitat: large stands of reed

Very localised resident, confined to a few coastal reed beds in Essex

Recognition

Tawny back and long tail, m has grey crown and black drooping moustache; 16–17 cm

Usually deep in reeds or flying low on whirring wings, but sometimes seen on reed-tops; in winter wander in parties

Feeds mainly on insects and reed seeds, sometimes other small wetland creatures

Lifecycle

Nest is a cup of sedge or reed blades, suspended just above water in beds of reed or sedge

Two or more broods April to July; 5–7 white eggs, speckled brown

Numbers suffer severely in hard winters

  • Main photo
  • flock

Photo © Gerald Downey

Photo © Pat Allen