Crested Tit/Lophophanes cristatus

Crested Tit/Lophophanes cristatus - Photographer: Николай Шопов
Crested Tit/Lophophanes cristatus - Photographer: Йордан Василев
Crested Tit/Lophophanes cristatus - Photographer: Dean Eades
Crested Tit/Lophophanes cristatus - Photographer: Борис Белчев

The Crested Tit is also called European Crested Tit.  It is a widespread and common resident breeder in coniferous forests throughout central and northern Europe and in deciduous woodland in France and the Iberian peninsula. In Great Britain, it is chiefly restricted to the ancient pinewoods of Inverness and Strathspey in Scotland, and seldom strays far from its haunts. A few vagrant Crested Tits have been seen in England. It is resident, and most individuals do not migrate.

Taxonomy and systematics

This species was formerly placed in Parus, but the distinctness of Lophophanes is well supported,and it is now recognised by the American Ornithologists' Union and the British Ornithologists' Union as a distinct genus.

Behaviour and ecology

It is an easy tit to recognise, for besides its erectile crest, the tip of which is often recurved, its gorget and collar are distinctive. It is, like other tits, talkative, and birds keep up a constant zee, zee, zee About this sound birdsong (help·info), similar to that of the Coal Tit.

It makes a nest in a hole in rotting stumps. This bird often feeds low down in trees, but although not shy, it is not always easily approached. It will join winter tit flocks with other species.

Like other tits it is found in pairs and it feeds on insects (including caterpillars) and seeds.


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