Bearded tit

©Danny Green/2020VISION

Bearded tit

Scientific name: Panurus biarmicus
The bearded tit is an unmistakable cinnamon-coloured bird of reedbeds in the south, east and north-west of England. Males actually sport a black 'moustache', rather than a beard!

Species information


Length: 12cm
Wingspan: 17cm
Weight: 15g
Average lifespan: 3 years

Conservation status

Classified in the UK as Green under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015). Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

When to see

January to December


The bearded tit is a small bird with a long tail that is mainly found in large reedbeds where it feeds on insects and reed seeds. It builds its nest low down among the reeds, often on piles of dead reed stems. Bearded tits can be heard calling with a nasal 'ting' or 'ping' sound as they fly about the reeds.

How to identify

The bearded tit is cinnamon-brown with a long, brown tail. It has a grey head with a black 'moustache' (rather than a beard) and a yellow bill and eyes. Females are less colourful than males, and do not have the moustache.


Found in Southern, Eastern North West England.

Did you know?

The bearded tit is also known as 'Bearded Reedling' or 'Bearded Parrotbill'. In fact, it is not actually a tit or parrotbill, but has now been assigned to its own family.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.