Long-tailed Tits are found right across Eurasia, from Iberia to China and Japan, and, in Europe, from the Mediterranean to Finno-Scandia. They are sedentary and can suffer high mortality during hard winters, but the size of their broods means that their numbers recover relatively quickly.

The species is widespread throughout most of Great Britain, being absent mainly from some upland areas of mainland Scotland, and from the Northern Isles and the Outer Hebrides. They expanded their breeding distribution only by a marginal 2% between the 1968-72 Breeding Atlas and “Bird Atlas 2007”. Their winter range on the other hand increased by 14% between the 1981-84 Winter Atlas and Bird Atlas 2007-2011 which means that they are now more widespread in winter than in summer.

In Wiltshire, Long-tailed Tits are absent only from large parts of Salisbury Plain and from a few other patches of exposed downland. Birds of Wiltshire recorded them in 615 tetrads, with breeding in 210 of them. WTA2 recorded them in 709 tetrads, with breeding in 469.



The following references are used throughout these species’ accounts,


in the abbreviated form given in quotation marks:

“1968-72 Breeding Atlas” – Sharrack, J.T.R. 1976: The Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland. T. & A. Poyser

“1981-84 Winter Atlas” – Lack, P.C. 1986: The Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland. T. & A. Poyser

1988-91 Breeding Atlas” – Gibbons, D.W., Reid, J.B. & Chapman, R.A. 1993: The New Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland 1988-91. T. & A. Poyser

Birds of Wiltshire” – Ferguson-Lees, I.J. et al. 2007: Birds of Wiltshire, published by the tetrad atlas group of the Wiltshire Ornithological Society after mapping fieldwork 1995-2000. Wiltshire Ornithological Society.

“Bird Atlas 2007-2011” – Balmer, D.E., Gillings, S., Caffrey, B.J., Swann, R.L., Downie, I.S. and Fuller, R.J. 2013: Bird Atlas 2007-2011: the Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland

WTA2” – ("Wiltshire Tetrad Atlas 2 ") the present electronic publication, bringing together the Wiltshire data from “Birds of Wiltshire” and “Bird Atlas 2007-11”, together with data from further fieldwork carried out in 2011 and 2012.

"Hobby" - the annual bird report of the Wiltshire Ornithological Society.