GALLERY: Finland’s great tits! Also blue tits, coal tits, crested tits and more!

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Coal tit / Credit: Paul Stevens

The Paridae is a large family of small birds found in the Northern Hemisphere and Africa. They are commonly referred to as tits over most of their distribution, but in North America they are known as chickadees or titmice.

In Finland there are 6 members of this family, and most of the tits in Finland nest in tree cavities excavated by woodpeckers or in nest boxes put up by people.

Coal tit / Credit: Paul Stevens

The coal tit is the smallest of the family and lives in spruce and mixed forest in Southern and Central Finland. In good breeding years it can even be found from Southern Lapland. In winter it is a regular visitor to bird feeders, especially if there are some trees nearby where it can shelter.

 

 

Blue tit / Credit: Paul Stevens

The second smallest is the blue tit. A colourful and distinctive member of the family that lives in mixed woodland throughout most of Finland. It is common in towns and cities, and
is a regular visitor to bird feeders. It was first discovered nesting in Finland in the mid 19th century, so it is a relative newcomer to the country, but it did make its own way here. Since its arrival its population has continuously grown, and it has become more widespread.

Crested tit / Credit: Paul Stevens

Perhaps the most unique member of the family in Finland is the crested tit. This bird is also known as the punk of the forest, due to its crest which resembles the hairstyle of early punk rockers. Unfortunately, the crested tit is a victim of modern forestry practices and its population has decreased. It is a resident of old-growth coniferous forest and when these are cut down for timber it loses its home. It is currently classified as vulnerable. Crested tits nest in cavities, but they differ from the other tits in also excavating the cavity themselves.

Willow tit / Credit: Paul Stevens

Another member of the family that prefers to excavate its own cavity is the willow tit. This is another bird that likes to live in old-growth coniferous forest. Mature forest is particularly important for the winter survival of the willow tit. since 2000 its population has decreased by about 50% and now it is classified as endangered, whereas in 2000 it was in the category of least concern in Finland. Willow tits are present in the whole of Finland.

 

Siberian tit / Credit: Paul Stevens

The Siberian tit only lives in the forests of Northern Finland, where it likes mature coniferous forest. Due to its small range, it is the least numerous member of the tit family
in Finland. Its population has decreased in recent years and so the Siberian tit is classified as near threatened. Uniquely, this bird can also be found from North America, where it is called the grey-headed chickadee.

 

Great tit / Credit: Paul Stevens

The last member of the family is also the largest, most widespread and most populous tit in Finland. You can find great tits just about anywhere in Finland. It is a common visitor to bird feeders in towns and cities, but it is also happy in any kind of woodland or forest. In good summers it will raise two broods.

 

 

This gallery comes from the lens of Espoo-based wildlife photographer Paul Stevens. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

GALLERY OF THE MEMBERS OF FINLAND’S TIT FAMILY