[Mystery bird] Great tit, Parus major, photographed in Helsinki, Finland. [I will identify this bird for you tomorrow]
Image: GrrlScientist, 24 November 2008 [larger view].
Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.
Rick Wright, Managing Director of WINGS Birding Tours Worldwide, writes:
Chickadees all look alike: chubby, rather long-tailed little birds with fluffy plumage, big heads, and black-and-white faces. In North America, our chickadees are a colorless lot, only Chestnut-sided straying from the standard pattern of gray and white.
It’s different in the Old World, where chickadees (there called tits, ‘little things’, as in “tidbits”) come in a range of bright colors. Thus, our quiz bird is green on the back, blue on the wings, and yellow beneath. In Europe, two species — Blue Tit and Great Tit — show that color combination, but only Great Tit has the extensive black “helmet” with bright white cheeks. This bird’s relatively muted colors and apparent lack of a strong black stripe down the breast suggest that it is a female.
Like Tufted Titmouses in eastern North America, Great Tits will begin to sing just after the winter solstice, and their buzzy, syncopated “dzeezeeba, dzeezeeba” chant livens up the gray days of winter in cities and towns across Europe.