"Sitsikleit-sitsikleit" is not the favourite song of the great tit

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Tue, 16.08.2016 - 10:39

Margus Ots, Coordinator of the Great Tit Year
Photo Arne Ader
Translation Liis


Great tit



Great tit     Rasvatihane        Parus major


Surprisingly the familiar three-syllable ”sitsikleit”* well known by people was not at all in first place in the recordings: it was heard only twice. Three-syllable songs in general made up only 5,8% of all the recorded songs. Instead in the vast majority of the performances of great tits simple two-syllable songs were heard (91,3 %). The birds weave these two syllables into series where the length and speed may vary depending on the individual but evidently also on the time of singing and the situation. The collected material showed that sometimes great tits start their two-syllable series of notes from the lower syllable, sometimes however from the top one, but a definite pattern was not found here and the height of the start pitch could be changed in one song even by the individuals themselves.

A summary can be read and examples heard on the home page of the Bird of the Year: LINK

*Translator’s note: Estonian great tits say Sitsikleit-Sitsikleit  when English ones call Teacher-Teacher. Sitsikleit  - ”calico dress”, summer dress made of rather thin often patterned cotton.


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