The tiny Siberian Tit is a bird species of the northern coniferous forests that is found not only in northern Eurasia but also in Alaska. In Finland, the southern boundary of the species follows the Taivalkoski – Rovaniemi – Kolari line. In Finland, there are about 50 000 to 100 000 breeding pairs. The population has recently declined, and in the latest conservation status assessment the species is classified as near threatened. For a small bird, the Siberian Tit has a large territory, up to a square kilometre in size. The Siberian Tit is a sedentary species, but occasionally in the autumn young individuals can travel all the way to Southern Finland looking for food. The migration of the young individuals maintains the gene flow between different populations.
Siberian Tit has adapted to life in the north in many ways. In autumn, the species stores huge amounts of seeds for winter. The Siberian Tit can lower its body temperature to reduce heat loss and can burrow under snow to spend the night if necessary. In the autumn and winter, the Siberian Tits often join mixed flocks of tits. Siberian Tits are familiar visitors on birdfeeders, and as they are quite daring, they can come to seek food even from a human hand. Siberian Tits are long-lived, according to bird ringing data, the age record in Finland is almost ten years.
Text: Jukka Jokimäki & Marja-Liisa Kaisanlahti-Jokimäki
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Flying Arctic -frontpage.