Mallerenga carbonera Parus major

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Identification

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Conspicuous inhabitant of woods, forests, parks, gardens, and hedges in farmland. Often visits bird feeders and uses nest boxes. Plumage is distinctive, with white cheeks surrounded by a black cap and bib. Male has a broader black stripe down belly than the female, and the juvenile (seen in summer–early autumn) has yellowish wash to face and drabber plumage overall. Underparts are bright yellow throughout much of range, but “Turkestan Tit” of Central Asia has a white belly. Appreciably larger and more boldly patterned than Eurasian Blue Tit, which often occurs alongside it. Listen for its distinctive high-pitched up-and-down song: “tsee-dee-tsee-dee-tsee-dee” and chattering scolds.

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