British wildlife recordings

Parus major : Great Tit - Paridae

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  • Duration


  • Shelf mark

    W1CDR0001425 BD15

  • Subjects


  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Torrington, Devon: OS Grid Reference(249763,119157)

  • Recordist

    Shove, Lawrence

  • Species

    Great Tit, Parus major

  • Description

    The song of the great tit, recorded near Great Torrington in Devon. This handsome woodland bird is a regular visitor to gardens throughout Britain. It is our largest tit, many races of which are known across the globe. When feeding with other birds it always likes to demonstrate who's boss, having a tendency of being a bully. Both sexes look similar although the male is brighter in colour, with a sulphur-yellow belly, divided by a broad black stripe. The black head possesses large white face patches, a quality earning the bird the alternative name, 'ox-eye'. As well as its see-sawing 'tee-cher, tee-cher' and 'peetoo, peetoo, peetoo' songs, this bird also has a large repertoire of short calls. It consumes various delicacies, such as fruit, berries, spiders, insects and household scraps. Although the Great tit uses tree holes to site its nest, it will readily use nest boxes, letter- boxes and even drainpipes. The hen incubates a clutch of up to twelve eggs, which hatch after two weeks. Both parents feed the often large and demanding bundle of nestlings. A numerous and widely distributed resident, the Great tit's breeding numbers are currently stable at 1,700,000 pairs.

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