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Tits of Prague

With spring on our doorstep and temperatures steadily rising, residents of Prague are slowly stripping off their winter layers and spending more time outside. Those in tune with their animal instincts may have noticed that with the turn of the seasons comes an increase in the number of exposed tits. Here, Oko! Magazine takes you through the nine different species currently inhabiting Prague and surrounding areas.

Great Tit

A warm summer’s day stroll through any of Prague’s green parks offer virtually guaranteed sightings of great tits. Distinctive for their yellow underparts and prominent white cheeks piercing through a black head and neck, this widespread and aptly named species boasts the title for biggest tits in the city.

PeNduline Tit

Due to their anatomical differences to other species on this list, it’s no wonder this next entry has led people to speculate whether they’re fake tits. In a sense, they’d be right to because they are in a different taxonomic family to that of the true tits. Penduline tits are some lesser spotted species in Prague, especially as they prefer open country habitats with many trees or bushes.

Blue Tit

With their bright colours, acrobatic movements, and spirited nature, surely the crown for perkiest tits in Prague has to go to the blue tits. These sprightly little songbirds are most often spotted in parks and gardens and are easily recognizable for their azure-blue crown, dark blue line crossing the eye, and yellow underparts. They are highly adapted to urban environments, so don’t be surprised to see these marvellous tits bouncing around right outside your window.

Willow Tit

Owing to their drab colours, untidy black bib, and fitting name, the droopiest tits in the city are probably the willow tits. Extremely similar in appearance to the marsh tit, these dreary-looking yet surprisingly charismatic tits can be distinguished for their sooty brown caps, as opposed to their cousins which sport a slicker glossy blue-black coloured noggin top.

Crested Tit

With their distinctive erectile and triangular-shaped crests, the award for pointiest tits has to go to the mesmerising crested tit. Seldom spotted in central parts of Prague, these elusive beauties are more often found flaunting their posh plumage in quieter areas with coniferous forest. A couple were recently spotted in Divoká Šárka, so head west for a sneaky peep of this lovely pair of tits in the flesh.

Long-tailed Tit

Have a mosey around some of Prague’s more confined green spaces and you might spot what many might call plump tits. Cute and colourful, the long-tailed tit is a little songbird that can often be found bobbing around the Golden City’s nooks and crannies. Nicknamed “the flying lollipop” these tiny tits have puffy round bodies with black, white and pink plumages and very long, narrow tails.

Bearded Tit

Rare and elusive, one could consider themselves extremely lucky to get a glimpse of what some would describe as the most beautiful tits on the entire planet. In fact, you may have to venture outside of Prague (perhaps to the small Hostivické Ponds) to get a glimpse of these reed-dwelling passerines. Oddly, these enchanting birds are so-named because the males sport long black ‘moustaches’ rather than ‘beards’.

COAL TIT

Widespread and common throughout Europe, this next entry is divided into a number of subspecies with many pronounced differences in coloration and size. This, together with their patchy black bibs means the prize for most asymmetric tits has to go to the coal tit. Typically found in temperate humid conifer forest, these agile little birds are distinctive for their large white nape spot atop their glossy-black heads.

MARSH TIT

These small but plucky tits are all too often in the shadow of another species already mentioned on this list. Marsh tits bear a remarkable resemblance to their willow cousins. Little but robust, these tough tits are able to face extreme temperatures and have even been known to increase their body mass in response to tawny owl calls.

Are you a big fan of tits? Learn more about them and other feathered friends in our next printed edition.