This species has been described as a tiny bird, at only 13-15 cm in length, including its 7-9 cm tail. It is round-bodied with a short, stubby bill and a very long, narrow tail. The plumage is mainly black and white, with variable amounts of grey and pink.

Habitat and Distribution

The Long-tailed Tit is globally widespread throughout temperate northern Europe and Asia, into boreal Scandinavia and south into the Mediterranean zone. It inhabits deciduous and mixed woodland with a well-developed shrub layer, favouring edge habitats. It can also be found in scrub, heathland with scattered trees, bushes and hedges, in farmland and riverine woodland, parks and gardens.


The Long-tailed Tit is insectivorous throughout the year. It eats predominately arthropods, preferring the eggs and larvae of moths and butterflies. Occasional vegetable matter is taken in autumn.


For nesting, strong preference is shown towards scrub areas. The nest is usually built in thorny bushes less than 3 metres above the ground.

Calls and Songs

They have three main calls, a single high pitched `pit`, a `triple trill` eez-eez-eez, and a rattling `schnuur`. The calls become faster and louder when the birds cross open ground .