232. GREAT TITMOUSE.
Parus major, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 341 (1766) ; Naum. iv. p. 9. Taf. 94, fig. 1 ; Hewitson, i. p. 149, pl. xxxix, fig. 1 ; Gould, B. of Gt. Brit, ii. pl. 23 ; Newton, i. p. 479 ; Dresser, iii. p. 79, pl. 106 ; Gadow, Cat. B. Br. Mus. viii. p. 19 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 426 ; Saunders, p. 103 : Lilford, ii. p. 97, pl. 44.
Mesange-charbonnier, French ; Carbonero, Quive-vive, Span., Cinciallegra, Ital. ; Kohlmeise, German ; Koolmees, Dutch ; Musvitsmeise, Dan. ; Kjodmeise, Norweg. ; Talgmes, Swed. ; Talitiitinen. Finn. ; Obiknovennaya-Sinitchka, Jiroiadka, Russ.
Male ad. (England). Crown, sides of neck, throat, and a broad line down the centre of the breast glossy black ; lower nape citron, back yellowish green ; rump and upper tail-coverts slate-grey ; wings and tail black margined with slate-grey, larger wing-coverts tipped, and outer tail- feathers margined with white ; cheeks, and ear-coverts white ; under parts citron-yellow ; bill and iris black ; legs plumbeous. Culmen 0.45, wing 2.95, tail 2.45, tarsus 0.7 inch. Female similar but duller. The young also duller and have the cheeks tinged with yellow.
Hab. The whole of Europe from Lapland down to Algeria ; Asia Minor, Palestine east to Persia ; Siberia east to Dauria.
Lively and active it appears to be continually on the move in search of food. It frequents gardens, orchards, and woods, feeding chiefly on insects and their larvae, to some extent also on seeds, and will attack and kill small and weakly birds, open the skull, and devour the brain. In the winter they collect in small family parties, and rove about the country. The nest is placed in the hole of a tree or wall, or any similar suitable place, and is usually bulky, consisting of a foundation of dry moss or grass, on which is a soft bed of hair, wool, or feathers, and the eggs, which are generally deposited in April, vary from 6 to 10 in number, and are white, spotted and blotched with red, measuring about 0.7 by 0.51.
232. Parus major
232. GREAT TITMOUSE.