Have you ever seen a coal tit in your garden?

They’re tiny birds, so it’s easy to have missed them if they do decide to pay you a visit. – they’re actually the smallest of the tit family and is characterised by its black and white features.

They have a black crown, grey back, white cheeks, and nape as well as white coloured bars on its wings – both sexes are the same with their black bills and dark brown eyes and tiny dark grey legs and feet…

So, now you know what to look out for, how do you get them to come to a calling to your neck of the woods?

What do Coal Tits eat?

I find that bribery always works, and as they’re pretty keen on a variety of foods and seed mixtures, they’re relatively easy guests to entertain.

Oh, something I should point out – make sure you always pile their plates up high as they like to come in for their nosh and then take some away for later.  Clever little creatures.

They like to hide the ‘takeaways’ in places all over for when times get tough, especially in the winter although they have to be careful to protect their food stash well as it’s been known for the blue tit to watch them and then raid their larders when the coal tit has left.

Coal tits have preferably low-fat reserves compared to other tits, which is why they store their food in case of shortages.

Variety is the Spice of a Coal Tit’s Life


By offering a good selection of grub in your garden for the coal tit, you’re very likely to have them visit you over and over again.

Coal tits eat insects, beech mast, nuts, and seeds.

They are great fans of sunflower seeds and various seed mix – the more you put these out will determine how frequently a visitor the coal finch will be in your garden.

But if you are really happy to splash out for this little bird, then peanuts are the special dish of the day.

If you indulge the coal tit with a pile of regular peanuts, you’ll have made a friend for life – they might even move into your garden permanently! 

They’ll also eat conifer seeds, which is a tree now often seen in UK gardens – particularly the Sitka Spruce, so that’s another great way to entice coal tits into your garden – splash out on some conifer trees.

So, if you want to attract more coal tits into your garden, you could indulge them with a peanut and suet feeder, perhaps have a feeder full of black sunflower seeds or hearts, and maybe let them finish off their meal with a chance to chisel away at a husk of sunflower on a carefully designed perch, made just for them.

They are very dexterous little chaps and can flit between, and beneath the conifers, you very kindly planted for them, looking for food you left out…

Even if you put a bird box out for them to live in, they’d probably be kicked out of it by the blue tit or great tit, so perhaps some of the trees in your garden could turn out to be good nesting places for them.

As I always say, a bit of cupboard love goes a long way.