Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Eurasian Coal Tit (Periparus ater)


  • Species name: Eurasian Coal Tit, Black-capped Tit
  • Scientific name: Periparus ater
  • Family: Paridae (Tits and Chickadees)
  • Order: Passeriformes (Songbirds)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Small songbird, about 11-12 cm (4.3-4.7 in) long with a wingspan of 17-19 cm (6.7-7.5 in).
  • Body shape: Compact and rounded, with a short neck, a small head, and a short, pointed tail.
  • Plumage color:

Overall: Black crown, white cheeks, gray body with brownish wash on wings and back, and a white belly.

Males have a broader black cap than females.

  • Beak: Short, straight, and conical, black in color, ideal for gleaning insects and seeds.
  • Legs: Short and gray.
  • Tail: Short and slightly squared-off.


  • Method of feeding: Primarily gleaning insects and other invertebrates from foliage and branches, also visiting feeders for seeds and nuts.
  • Reproduction: Builds nests in tree holes or nest boxes. Lays 5-8 white eggs with reddish markings. Both parents care for the young.
  • Movement: Resident in most of its range, with some local dispersal in response to food availability.
  • Communication: Varied song consisting of high-pitched calls and whistles, including a distinctive "see-saw" call.


  • Habitat: Woodlands, forests, parks, and gardens with trees and shrubs.
  • Diet: Primarily insects and other invertebrates, also seeds, nuts, and berries.
  • Hunting methods: Gleans insects and other prey from foliage and branches, often hanging upside down to reach hidden food.

Distribution: Found across Europe and western Asia, from Scandinavia to northern Iran.


Don't underestimate the unassuming Eurasian Coal Tit. This small, black-capped songbird, common in European and Asian woodlands, might seem ordinary at first glance. But beneath its modest plumage lies a treasure trove of hidden secrets and captivating quirks that will leave you charmed by this feathered acrobat:

Memory Master: Forget elephants; Coal Tits have a brainpower-to-body-size ratio that rivals primates. They can remember thousands of food locations, even months later, ensuring they never go hungry during the harsh winter months. Think of them as feathered mnemonists with built-in GPS trackers!

Acrobatic Aerialists: Coal Tits are not just cute; they're incredibly agile. They flit through branches with lightning-fast precision, hang upside down to reach hidden insects, and even perform mid-air somersaults while snatching prey. Imagine them as feathered parkour artists in miniature!

Insect Interceptor: Their small size doesn't hinder their hunting skills. Coal Tits are expert insectivores, utilizing their sharp beaks and acrobatic talents to catch unsuspecting bugs mid-flight. They're the feathered flytraps of the forest, always on the lookout for their next crunchy snack.

Winter Warriors: Unlike many songbirds that migrate south, Coal Tits brave the cold. They have evolved special adaptations, like increased feather insulation and efficient metabolism, allowing them to thrive in temperatures far below freezing. They're the feathered Vikings of the backyard!

Cooperative Colony Builders: During breeding season, Coal Tits sometimes engage in cooperative breeding. Helpers, often older offspring, assist the breeding pair in raising chicks, providing extra food and protection. It's a feathered commune with built-in childcare!

Unexpected Tool Users: Recent research suggests Coal Tits might be smarter than we thought. They have been observed using leaves and twigs as tools to pry open acorns and access insects hidden in crevices. Talk about feathered handymen with built-in pocket toolkits!

Social Singers: The Coal Tit's song isn't just a simple chirp; it's a complex communication system. Different calls convey warnings, territory claims, and even mating intentions. They're the feathered gossip mongers of the forest, always spreading the latest news through their musical updates!

Symbiotic Symphony: Coal Tits play a vital role in the ecosystem. By controlling insect populations, they help maintain the health of trees and plants. This beautiful dance of life showcases how tiny treasures contribute to the vibrant tapestry of nature.

Unexpected Color Change: Did you know? Coal Tits undergo a subtle yet intriguing color change during the breeding season. The males' black caps become slightly glossier, while the females develop a faint bluish tinge on their underparts. It's like feathered lovebirds putting on their spring fashion show!