Belongs to: tits

Compare with: blue tit

Great tit Parus major

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Largest of the tit family, familiar in gardens and with the well-known two-note 'teach-err' song

Habitat: any area with suitable nest sites, with highest densities in deciduous woodland

Widespread and common resident


Most clearly marked of the garden tits, with black crown, white cheeks and bold belly stripe; 13–14 cm

Lively and acrobatic birds; song is a two-note chiming song with many variations   

Feeds mainly on insects, supplemented by seeds, nuts, buds and occasionally young birds


Nest is made of moss lined with hair and down in a tree hole, a chink in a wall or a nest box

1 brood of 8–12 white eggs, thickly spotted reddish, usually April to May

Feed young mainly on moth caterpillars, collecting up to 3,000 per week

© Alan Williams