CRESTED TIT (Parus cristatus)

 

Mésange huppée

 

 

The Crested Tit is a pretty little member of this family. In Switzerland it is common throughout coniferous forests and although it can be found at low elevations (sometimes in winter on my bird feeder at 600m) it is commonest above about 900m up to the treeline. I have found it rather silent compared to others in this family and I have yet to identify what I would call a "real song" - a series of chirrups and chatters is what I mostly hear, sometimes hard to pick out amongst a background of thrushes and chaffinches:

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This squeaky single note call is interspersed with other chatters. If you listen carefully the tone of the squeak, whilst fairly piercing, is somewhat slurred, rising sharply and then falling away at the end. This can be seen in the sonogram, the note is like an inverted "U" shape:

 

 

 

 

 

Some authors refer to a gentle "purring sound" sometimes used in courtship, there were two birds present when I made this recording and if you listen carefully to the last fifteen seconds or so of the sequence you can hear an almost insect like purring noise from one of the birds with some very strange, very rapid squeaks in there too, they almost look as though two notes are being called at the same time:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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