Mobile bird identification
A common widespread resident bird throughout Europe, absent in most of Scotland.
Can be found in almost any area of bushes, trees, gardens and hedges.
The Marsh Tit (although much more widespread than the rare Willow Tit) is a difficult bird to identify being almost identical to the Willow Tit. No single visual identification factor can be used alone for proof of identification, as plumage varies slightly within each species and a combination of factors will need to be noted in order to be confident of the birds identity. The birds calls however are very different and if heard can make identification more straight forward.
Marsh Tit Poecile palustris
Species: P. palustris
Warm orange buff flanks
Small blue and yellow bird
Black stripe down breast
Bright yellow underside
Black head with white nape patch
Pointed distinctive crest
Plain wings, no wing bars
Black mark down face on male
Broad black mark across face
Red-brown band on wings
Note the pale buff underside of this bird with pale cheeks. This image also displays the Marsh Tits grey-brown back colour.
Thanks to:www.flickr.com/photos/franco_baresi/ (Modified)
Willow Tit or Marsh Tit?
Willow Tit (left), Marsh Tit (right):
Compare the size of the pale cheeks, the Willow Tits runs right up the the black nape, the Marsh Tits pale cheeks are much smaller.
Thanks to:www.flickr.com/photos/gartenfreuden (Modified)
Unlike the Marsh Tit, this Willow Tit has warm buff-orange flanks and the upper-parts are more dull brown than the Marsh Tits grey-brown. You can also see the larger pale cheeks on this bird with the cheeks extending right up to the black on the nape of the neck.
|| Marsh Tit
|| Large, no neck
||Smaller, longer neck
|| White face curves right up to nape
|| White face smaller, not to nape
|Crown colour & shape
|| Dull mate black, narrow at nape
|| Shiny black, wide at nape
|| Larger black patch
|| Smaller black patch
||Distinctive pale panel
|| Plain winged
||Warm buff with orange-buff flanks
||Plain black with pale mark on upper bill below nostril
||Rounder tail corners
||High & low in both Deciduous & Coniferous
||Usually low on deciduous
Shiny black cap
Pale buff underside