Crested Tit Lophophanes cristatus
(aka Parus cristatus)
Crested Tit, Carrbridge, Scotland, September 2002 - click for larger image Carrbridge, Scotland

The Crested Tit is distributed in most of continental Europe and into the Ural mountains but only in the north of Scotland as far as the British Isles are concerned. See the distribution map at Birdlife International. In northern Europe it prefers pine forest and in Scotland it is particularly associated with Scots Pine. Further south in Europe it is found in mixed woodlands.

Crested Tit, Carrbridge, Scotland, September 2002 - click for larger image It nests in a hole in a tree or a tree stump. I found one nest in the top of a fence post in southern France. It feeds on insects, spiders and conifer seeds.

It is a small bird with brownish upperparts and dirty white underparts. The head is neatly patterned in black and white and has a prominent crest.

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