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Coal Tit

Parus ater

The coal tit is a frequent visitor at feeding tables during winter. Photo Aaro Toivio.

General information. The coal tit is one of the nesting bird species of old and medium growth forests. Annual nesting populations vary depending on the availability of seeds from coniferous trees. During years with an abundance of seeds there is a great number of nesting coal tits. The nesting population in Finland was at its largest during 1991 to 1992.

  • Length 12-13 cm
  • Nests in cavities in trees and in nesting boxes
  • Both sedentary and migrating species
  • Feeds on insects

Habitat. Out of all of the tit species inhabiting Finland, the coal tit is the species with the strongest ties to spruce forests. Its most favored habitat is old growth spruce forests, spruce-grown low moorlands and forest edges. It also thrives near residential areas.

Distribution in Vaasa. The coal tit is relatively evenly dispersed throughout Vaasa’s coniferous forests and sparsely built areas with detached homes. It has also been found nesting in forests in the Gerby archipelago. Empty sections on the distribution map is partly due to the coal tit’s early nesting period. During March and April the species sings most actively, however by the time the survey was conducted in June, the coal tit was much more difficult to locate. During spring, it was observed in Gerby, Pilvilampi, Öjen and Öjberget, along with other areas in Vaasa. In these locations its powerful song could be heard from high up among the tree tops.