It’s not a Beard, and I’m not a Tit

Bearded Reedlings – a Year Round Resident

One of my favourite passerines is the elusive, but well worth the effort of finding, Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus), also known as the Bearded Tit but it is not a Tit, which is a year-round resident in  Castilla la Mancha, Central Spain. They are a small passerine bird with a long tail and the males are quite unmistakeable with their light bluish-grey head and their lovely long moustache down their cheeks. The females do not have the bluish-grey head nor the moustache however they are quite readily identified all the same due to their activity and colour within the reed bed. And there are no shortages of reed-beds in Ciudad Real. Bearded Reedlings can be found at the Tablas of Daimiel, the Laguna de Navaseca and Peralvillo as well as many other sites along the Guadiana River with thick dense reeds.

Male Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus) in reeds
Male Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus) in reeds

The Juvenile Male Bearded Reedling

Below is a shot of a juvenile male Bearded Reedling where you can see the beginnings of the moustache which differentiate it from the female. It’s not really a beard as the name might suggest.

Juvenile male Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus) in branches
Juvenile male Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus)

Juvenile male Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus) in branches
Juvenile male Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus)

 The Female Bearded Reedling

The female below as mentioned before has no moustache.

Female Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus) in Reeds
Female Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus)

They are quite sensitive to harsh winters which may kill large numbers of them and certainly in recent years we have had some of those. They do still seem to be about though and have been quite often caught in the SEO/Birdlife Ciudad Reals mist nets for ringing in the past few months. You can see just how beautiful a pair of these birds are below which were ringed and released.

SEO/Birdlife Ciudad Real ringing morning

Contact us now at Oretani Wildlife to book your birding tour in Spain and see Bearded Reedlings and many other wetland birds.

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