All of the tits are extremely agile and acrobatic in the way they move through the canopy, hopping quickly from branch to branch and frequently hanging upside down to pry under bark on the underside of branches. They typically make only short, fast flights, which are either direct or gently undulating depending on the distance covered.
All species are largely resident and sedentary, but a few make regular seasonal altitudinal movements, some are ir-ruptive under certain conditions, and some may be truly partially migratory. Most species live in pairs or small groups, being territorial while breeding, but typically joining mixed-species flocks outside of the breeding period. Some flocks can contain up to 100 individuals of one species, and often include other tit species. Some species are highly aggressive in flocks and chases are common, especially when competing for food provided by man. A variety of threat displays have developed, such as the head-up posture in species with black bibs or crest-raising in the crested species.
Song development is generally poor throughout the family and song displays are rare, but most species have a wide variety of calls that are often loud and given frequently, such as the chick-a-dee call given by many of the black- and brown-capped species.
Was this article helpful?