Winter Bird Feeder Camera - Willow tit

Video recorded by  Ame, LK forum
Translation Liis
Willow tit     Põhjatihane        Poecile montanus earlier Parus montanus
From the web camera you hear   "di-dää-dää, di-dää-dää", and in a moment it is there – the willow tit. They are not particularly keen bird feeder visitors, but at Otepää they are in camera view every winter, so it is certainly not true that they never come  to snatch seeds.
Willow tits are very similar to marsh tits, so introducing both in the same day seems a good idea. What differences are worth paying attention to?
The back plumage of the willow tit looks greyer. 
The black top of the head of the willow tit is a duller black, that of the marsh tit glossier.  
The cheeks of the willow tit are more broadly white, reaching almost to the nape, and the “chin beard” looks wider (see Arne’s photo below).
On the wings of the willow tit we notice light lengthwise streaks that the marsh tit lacks.
The overall plumage colour of both species is similar, just as the colour of eyes, beak and legs. Body length of both is on average about a dozen centimetres and the weight the same, in grams.
It is easier to distinguish between the willow tit and the marsh tit by their calls. Listen to the calls of the willow tit recorded by Veljo Runnel: LINK
In a mixed flock of tits that can be encountered in conifer or mixed forests we sometimes notice a single willow tit or a pair in the group. Tits are mainly busy in the tree canopy but the willow tit can also be seen on tree trunks. The little birds have  reason to be there: they  collect  stores for poorer days, hiding the seeds in bark crevices.
The winter abundance of willow tits varies widely: from two hundred thousand up to three hundred thousand birds;  this is greatly influenced by the number of roaming birds arriving from the north or north-east. Young birds hatched in Estonia this summer on the other hand can  be seen in Poland.

Photos Arne Ader

Willow tit
Willow tit




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