Crested tit

Crested tit
Lophophanes cristatus
Photo by Mark Medcalf (Wikipedia)

Common name:

Order Passeriformes
Family Paridae

This European species is found from Portugal and Spain, throughout most of Europe, as far north as northern Scandinavia and has far east as the Urals in western Russia. The south-eastern edge of its distribution lays along the mountains of Greece, Bulgaria and southern Ukraine.

The crested tit is 11-12 cm long and has a wingspan of 18 cm. They weigh 10,5-12 g.

They are mostly found in temperate coniferous ans mixed forests. They are also present in boreal coniferous forests, Mediterranean woodlands and scrublands as well as in gardens and parks.

Crested tits mostly eat insects, caterpillars and spiders, but in winter they will also eat plant material, namely conifer seeds.

These birds breed in March-June. They nest in a hole in decaying or dead tree trunk, sometimes using old woodpecker nests. there the female lays 5-6 eggs which she incubates alone for 13-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 20-25 days after hatching, but continue to depend on their parents for food for another 3-4 weeks. Each pair may produce 1-2 clutches per year.
IUCN status- LC (Least Concern)
The crested tit has a very large breeding range and a global population of 8,6-32,3 million individuals. The population has undergone a moderate decline over the last three decades, mostly due to changes in forestry practices, but the species has also expanded its range in some regions due to the increase and spread of commercial conifer plantations.

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