Coal tit

The coal tit (or cole tit,[2] Periparus ater) is a small passerine bird in the tit family, Paridae. It is a widespread and common resident breeder throughout temperate to subtropical Eurasia and northern Africa. The black-crested tit is now usually included in this species.

There are a few different subspecies of the coal tit, those being the British, North African and continental ones. They are most commonly found throughout Europe and Russia in coniferous forests and trees.

Coal tit
Coal tit UK09
Adult British coal tit, P. a. britannicus
(note greenish-grey back)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paridae
Genus: Periparus
P. ater
Binomial name
Periparus ater
PeriparusAterIUCN2018 2
Range of P. ater     Resident      Non-breeding

Parus ater Linnaeus, 1758

Taxonomy and systematics

This species was first described by Linnaeus in his 1758 edition of Systema Naturae. Linnaeus' primary reference was his earlier Fauna Svecica, whose cumbersome pre-binomial name Parus capite nigro: vertice albo, dorso cinereo, pectore albo ("black-headed tit with white nape, ash-grey back, white breast") became the much simpler yet no less unequivocal Parus ater. This name – meaning "dusky-black tit" – was simply adopted from older ornithological textbooks, ultimately going back to Conrad Gessner's 1555 Historiae animalium. He gave no type locality except "Europe", but his original description refers to the population inhabiting Sweden (which is consequently included in the nominate subspecies today).[3] The current genus name, is Ancient Greek peri plus the pre-existing genus Parus. The specific ater is Latin for "dull black".[4]

The colorful great tit (Parus major) with its bold wing-stripe. Before binomial nomenclature, naturalists found the folk taxonomy of this species and the coal tit quite confusing.

Gessner also notes that the coal tit was known as Kohlmeiß in German – the literal equivalent of its English name, though in its modern orthography Kohlmeise it refers to the great tit (Parus major). That bird was in Gessner's day usually called Spiegelmeiß ("multicolored tit"[5]), Brandtmeiß ("burnt tit") or grosse Meiß ("great tit") in German. Kölmeyß was attested for P. major by William Turner, but Turner does not list P. ater at all, while Gessner notes that his hunters always used Kohlmeiß for the present species. However, this has since changed, and the modern German name of P. ater is Tannenmeise ("fir tit"), after a typical habitat. This name is attested (as Tannen-Maise) by Johann Leonhard Frisch in the early 18th century already, who furthermore records that P. ater was also called Kleine Kohl-Maise ("small coal tit") whereas Kohl-Maise referred unequivocally to P. major. Frisch collected his data in the Berlin region, where the German dialect was quite different from that spoken by Gessner's Alemannic sources 200 years earlier, and heavily influenced by Middle Low German – the language of the northern German sources of Turner. Regarding that, Tanne is derived from the Old Saxon danna, and thus had spread through the German dialect continuum from north to south. [6]

Most authorities still treat the coal tit in the subgenus Periparus, but the American Ornithologists' Union considers Periparus a distinct genus. This is supported by mtDNA cytochrome b sequence analysis; Periparus seems to be closer to the Poecile tits and chickadees than to the great tit and its relatives. Thus, it belongs to the more advanced Paridae, in which the bright plumage of the more basal lineages is dulled down apomorphically.[7]

Illustration of Parus ater cypriotes by John Gerrard Keulemans

In addition, the same data suggest that this species is paraphyletic in regard to the closely related and parapatric spot-winged tit (P. melanolophus) from South Asia, which looks like a slightly crested, darker version of P. ater. Consequently, the spot-winged tit might have to be included in P. ater, or some coal tits could be considered a distinct species. As occasional hybridization has been recorded between the two, mtDNA alone (which is inherited only from the mother) is insufficient to determine whether hybrid gene flow or another trivial cause (such as incomplete lineage sorting) obfuscates the actual relationships, or whether taxonomic rearrangement is indeed required. With the range of these titmice encircling the Himalayas, without further study it cannot even be excluded that they constitute a ring species – with gene flow occurring in Nepal but not in Afghanistan – as has been shown for other passerines in the same region.[7]


Periparus ater I
Adult continental coal tit, P. a. ater (note blue-grey back)

A number of coal tit subspecies are distinguished. The differences in coloration are quite pronounced in some of them, while their differences in size are more subtle. Coal tits from Asia follow Bergmann's rule, being larger in colder regions; those from further west, however, do not, as the birds from the uplands around the Mediterranean are larger than those from northern Europe. Across its range, tail length in relation to body length increases along a cline running from southwest to northeast.[8]

The British race P. a. britannicus has an olive hue to its brownish-grey back plumage, distinguishing it from the continental European nominate subspecies P. a. ater and P. a. abietum in which the back is bluish grey without a hint of green or brown. The Irish race P. a. hibernicus is distinguished from britannicus by the pale sulphur-yellow cheeks, breast and belly. It also has a paler rump (due to light fringes of the uppertail coverts) and a larger bill than its relatives from Britain and the Continent.[9]

The North African race P. a. ledouci has yellow underparts and cheeks, and the Cypriot P. a. cypriotes has a buff tinge to its upperparts, and deep buff underparts. Asian subspecies are generally rather dusky brownish except for the black-and-white head;[8] they include among others P. a. michalowskii of the Caucasus, P. a. phaeonotus of Iran, or the Himalayan coal tit[10] P. a. aemodius of southwestern China.


Periparus ater filmed in Tokyo, Japan

The coal tit is 10–11.5 cm in length, and has a distinctive large white nape spot on its black head. The head, throat and neck of the adult are glossy blue-black, setting off the off-white sides of the face (tinged grey to yellow depending on subspecies) and the brilliant white nape; the white tips of the wing coverts appear as two wingbars. The underparts are whitish shading through buff to rufous on the flanks. The bill is black, the legs lead-coloured, and irides dark brown.

The young birds are duller than the adults, lacking gloss on the black head, and with the white of nape and cheeks tinged with yellow.

While searching for food, coal tit flocks keep contact with incessant short dee or see-see calls. The species' song – if "song" it can be called – is a strident if-he, if-he, if-he, heard most frequently from January to June, but also in autumn. Song resembles Great Tit´s, but much faster and higher in pitch.[11] One variant of this song ends with a sharp ichi. North African birds also have a currr call similar to that of the European crested tit (Lophophanes cristatus) which is not found in Africa.

Coal tit (Periparus ater) on line.jpeg
Adult, presumably Irish coal tit, P. a. hibernicus (note yellowish cheeks and breast)

Behaviour and ecology

Parus ater MWNH 2286
Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

It is typically a bird of temperate humid conifer forest, but apart from that shows little habitat specificity. In Bhutan for example coal tits are fairly common residents above the subtropical zone, at about 3,000–3,800 m ASL, and are found in forests dominated by Bhutan Fir (Abies densa) as well as in those characterized by Himalayan Hemlock (Tsuga dumosa) and rhododendrons.[12]

The coal tit is an all-year resident throughout almost all range, making only local movements in response to particularly severe weather; only the Siberian birds have a more regular migration. Very rarely, vagrants may cross longer distances; for example the nominate subspecies of continental Europe was recorded in Ireland once in 1960 and once before that, but apparently not since then.

Coal tits will form small flocks in winter with other tits. This species resembles other tits in acrobatic skill and restless activity, though it more frequently pitches on a trunk, and in little hops resembles a treecreeper (Certhia). Its food is similar to that of the others; it is keen on beechmast, picks out the seeds from fir (Abies) and larch (Larix) cones, and joins Carduelis redpolls and siskins in alders (Alnus) and birches (Betula). It will also visit gardens to feed on a variety of foods put out, particularly sunflower seeds.

Coal tits in the laboratory prefer to forage at a variable feeding site when they are in a negative energy budget.[13] They increase evening body mass in response to tawny owl calls.[14] After dawn the coal tits increases body mass as soon as possible if food is obtained at a low rate, increasing body mass exponentially until an inflection point when the increase of body mass is slower.[15] The inflection point of the body mass trajectory is 16.7% delayed compared to a high food availability.[15] Subordinate coal tits are excluded from feeding sites by dominants more often in the early morning than in the rest of the day, and they showed more variability in daily mass gain and body mass at dawn than dominant coal tits.[16]

Being common and widespread, the coal tit is not considered a threatened species by the IUCN.[17]

The coal tit has the dubious distinction of having the largest number of bird fleas (Ceratophyllus gallinae) reported from a single nest, 5,754 fleas.[18]


A favourite nesting site is a hole in a rotting tree-stump, often low down, and the nest is deep within the hole; holes in the ground, burrows of mice or rabbits, chinks between the stones in walls, old nests of Pica magpies or other large birds, and squirrel dreys are also occupied. The materials, moss, hair and grass, are closely felted together, and rabbit fur or feathers added for lining. Seven to eleven red-spotted white eggs are laid, usually in May; this species breeds usually once per year.

See also


  1. ^ Birdlife International (2016)
  2. ^ "Cole tit". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Gessner (1555): pp.616, Linnaeus (1746, 1758)
  4. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 58, 298. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  5. ^ Literally "mirror tit" (though its feathers are not iridescent), perhaps rather "wing-stripe tit", as in German ornithology Spiegel means a wing-stripe or -patch. The interpretation referring to its colorful plumage, though somewhat unusual, is the one given by Gesner however: a colorum pulchritudine quibus distinguitur – "for the beauty of its colors, which distinguish it"
  6. ^ Turner (1544a,b), Gessner (1555): pp.615–616, Frisch (1720), Linnaeus (1758)
  7. ^ a b Gill et al. (2005)
  8. ^ a b Snow (1954)
  9. ^ BI [2009]
  10. ^ Bangs (1932)
  11. ^ A Field Guide to the Birds of Korea (2005). ISBN 89-951415-3-0
  12. ^ Inskipp et al. (2000)
  13. ^ Bautista, L. M.; Martín, B.; Martinez, L.; Mayo, C. (2001). "Risk-sensitive foraging in coal tits" (PDF). Behaviour. 138: 69–83. doi:10.1163/156853901750077790. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  14. ^ Bautista, L. M.; Lane, S.J. (2000). "Coal tits increase evening body mass in response to tawny owl calls" (PDF). Acta Ethologica. 2: 105–110. doi:10.1007/s102119900014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  15. ^ a b Polo, V.; Bautista, L. M. (2006). "Daily routines of body mass gain in birds: II. An experiment with reduced food availability" (PDF). Animal Behaviour. 72: 517–522. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2005.09.025. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  16. ^ Polo, V.; Bautista, L. M. (2002). "Daily body mass regulation in dominance-structured Coal tit (Parus ater) flocks in response to variable food access" (PDF). Behavioral Ecology. 13: 696–704. doi:10.1093/beheco/13.5.696. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  17. ^ BLI (2009)
  18. ^ Gunvor Brinck-Lindroth; F.G.A.M. Smit † (2007). The fleas (Siphonaptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. BRILL. p. 6. ISBN 978-90-474-2075-0.


External links

Adéle Weman

Adèle Wilhelmina Weman (October 7, 1844 – September 10, 1936) was a Finnish writer and educator. She wrote in Swedish under the noms de plume Parus Ater, Inga Storm and Zakarias. She was a pioneer in the fields of youth education and the development of youth associations.The daughter of Johan Wilhelm Weman, a land surveyor, and Carolina Wilhelmina Granbohm, she was born in Valkeala. In 1882, she began teaching at the college in Kimito and she retired from teaching in 1917.Her first children's book Efter lexan följer leken : berättelser och lekar was published in 1844 under the name Parus Ater. It was followed by Barnafröjd : versifierade lekar och berättelser in 1899. She also wrote for various newspapers and magazines and published plays and poetry.Weman died in Kimito at the age of 91.Her former home Villa Sagalund is preserved as part of the Sagalunds museum.Parus Ater is the Latin name for the Coal tit.

Bateman's principle

Bateman's principle, in evolutionary biology, is that in most species, variability in reproductive success (or reproductive variance) is greater in males than in females. It was first proposed by Angus John Bateman (1919–1996), an English geneticist. Bateman suggested that, since males are capable of producing millions of sperm cells with little effort, while females invest much higher levels of energy in order to nurture a relatively small number of eggs, the female plays a significantly larger role in their offspring's reproductive success. Bateman’s paradigm thus views females as the limiting factor of parental investment, over which males will compete in order to copulate successfully.

Although Bateman's principle served as a cornerstone for the study of sexual selection for many decades, it has recently been subject to criticism. Attempts to reproduce Bateman's experiments in 2012 and 2013 were unable to support his conclusions. Some scientists have criticized Bateman's experimental and statistical methods, or pointed out conflicting evidence, while others have defended the veracity of the principle and cited evidence in support of it.

Englemere Pond

Englemere Pond is a local nature reserve near North Ascot in Berkshire. The reserve is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The site is owned by Crown Estate and managed by Bracknell Forest Borough Council.

European crested tit

The European crested tit, or simply crested tit (Lophophanes cristatus) (formerly Parus cristatus), is a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. It is a widespread and common resident breeder in coniferous forests throughout central and northern Europe and in deciduous woodland in France and the Iberian peninsula. In Great Britain, it is chiefly restricted to the ancient pinewoods of Inverness and Strathspey in Scotland, and seldom strays far from its haunts. A few vagrant crested tits have been seen in England. It is resident, and most individuals do not migrate.

Kingsford Country Park

Kingsford Country Park, officially Kingsford Forest Park, was located in Worcestershire, England, U.K. and managed by Worcestershire County Council. It adjoined Kinver Edge, Staffordshire, a National Trust property, to which it was connected by multiple paths. Part of the country park was formerly known as Blakeshall Common.

The country park covers 200 acres (0.81 km2), consisting mainly of pine and broadleaved woodland with some heathland and a small section of grassland. The woodland stretches over a terrain of hills and cliffs, with many sandy paths crisscrossing the lower woodland—some even going up cliff outcrops and across to a middle section between the woodland floor and clifftops—and the main paths leading up to the cliffs, which are also dominated by woodland.

There are also four circular trails starting from Kingsford Lane and Blakeshall Lane car parks, which have been designed to give an enjoyable woodland experience to a range of participants:

The Robin Trail, a third of a mile (0.5 km)

The Coal Tit Trail, over one mile (2 km)

The Nuthatch Trail, about one and a half miles (2.5 km)

The Woodpecker Trail, almost two miles (3 km)

Lavells Lake

Lavells Lake is a local nature reserve in Woodley, Berkshire, England. The nature reserve is owned by Wokingham Borough Council and managed by the council in partnership with the Friends of Lavell's Lake. The nature reserve is within the Dinton Pastures Country Park.

List of birds of Ireland

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Ireland. The avifauna of Ireland include a total of 478 species as of late 2015 according to the Irish Rare Birds Committee (IRBC). An additional 17 species have been added from Bird Checklists of the World.Of these 495 species, 281 are rare or accidental and three have been introduced by humans. One has apparently been extirpated, one is extinct, and one is probably extinct. The list also includes four entries of birds that have been accepted without being identified to species. The list does not include species placed in "Category D" by the IBRC. These are species where there is doubt as to whether they have occurred in a wild state (Category D1), they have arrived by human assistance such as on board a ship (D2), they have only been recorded dead on the tideline (D3), or they are feral species whose populations may not be self-sustaining (D4).

Ireland has a relatively low diversity of breeding birds due to its isolation. Several species such as the tawny owl, Eurasian nuthatch and willow tit which breed in Great Britain have not been recorded. However, there are large colonies of seabirds including important populations of European storm-petrels, northern gannets, and roseate terns. Other notable breeding birds include corn crakes and red-billed choughs. There are no endemic species but there are endemic subspecies of white-throated dipper, coal tit, and Eurasian jay.

Large numbers of wildfowl and waders winter in Ireland, attracted by its mild climate. About half the world population of the Greenland race of greater white-fronted geese spend the winter there. During autumn, many migrating seabirds can be seen off the coasts including several species of skuas, shearwaters, and petrels. Ireland's westerly position means that North American birds are regularly recorded in autumn.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (English and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.The following tags have been used to highlight several categories of occurrence; the tags are from Bird Checklists of the World.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Ireland

(I) Introduced - a species introduced to Ireland as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

List of birds of San Marino

This is a list of the bird species recorded in San Marino. The avifauna of San Marino include a total of 96 species, none of which are introduced or endemic.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of the Association of European Rarities Committees.

Maiden Erlegh Local Nature Reserve

Maiden Erlegh Local Nature Reserve is a local nature reserve in Earley of the English county of Berkshire. The nature reserve is under the management of Earley Town Council. It consists of areas of ancient and secondary woodland, grassland, a large lake, a brook, an old woodland pond and surrounding wetland habitat. The reserve supports a large amount of wildlife including over a 100 species of butterflies and moths, more than 50 species of birds, 50 species of fungi and over 20 species of trees.

Muroran, Hokkaido

Muroran (室蘭市, Muroran-shi) is a city and port located in Iburi Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan. It is the capital city of Iburi Subprefecture.

As of February 29, 2012, the city has an estimated population of 93,716, with 47,868 households and a population density of 1,162.01 people per km2 (3,009.59 people per sq. mi.). The total area is 80.65 km2 (31.14 sq mi).

Northern parula

The northern parula (Setophaga americana) is a small New World warbler. It breeds in eastern North America from southern Canada to Florida.

Pen Duick

Pen Duick is the name most well known for a series of ocean racing yachts sailed by French yachtsman Eric Tabarly. Meaning coal tit in Breton it was the name Tabarly's father gave to the 1898 Fife gaff cutter he purchased, and that his son learned to sail. He thereafter used the name for a series of successful racing yachts through the '60s and '70s.

The YRA 36 ft linear rater Pen Duick (formerly Yum) was designed by William Fife III and built in 1898 by Gridiron & Marine Motor Works at Carrigaloe in Cork Harbour, Ireland for Cork yachtsman W. J. C. Cummins. The gaff-rigged cutter was quickly noted as a successful racer in Irish, British and French waters. Tabarly's father acquired her when Éric was seven years old, and the boy learnt to sail on her. After World War II, she was put on sale, but finding no takers, Éric convinced his father in giving her to him. Years later, he was told her wooden hull was rotten, and being unable to hire a yard to salvage her, proceeded to save her himself, making a mould to build her a new polyester hull: It was the largest of its kind at the time. He refitted her entirely, with a loftier rig for the southern climes. In the night of June 12 to 13 1998, Éric Tabarly fell overboard and was lost in the Irish Sea, while sailing the hundred-year-old cutter en route to the Fife Regatta in Largs, Scotland.

The wooden ketch Pen Duick II won the 1964 Singlehanded Transatlantic Race with Éric Tabarly.

The 17.45 m schooner Pen Duick III, with her distinctive clipper bow, was designed entirely by Tabarly, and was built in aluminium. The yacht won the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in 1967.

Pen Duick IV was a 20.50m aluminium trimaran with a ketch rig and rotating masts. She was designed by André Allègre. During the 1968 Singlehanded Transatlantic Race, Pen Duick IV collided with a ship and Tabarly was forced to withdraw from the race. Later, Pen Duick IV was sold to French yachtsman Alain Colas, who rechristened her Manureva and won the 1972 Singlehanded Transatlantic Race with her. In 1978, Manureva sank at sea with her owner.

The 10.60 m sloop Pen Duick V, featuring novel ballast tanks, was designed by architects Michel Bigoin and Daniel Duvergie for the 1969 Singlehanded San-Francisco to Tokyo Race, which Tabarly also won.

The 22.25 m ketch Pen Duick VI was built in 1973 to an André Mauric design. She entered the 1973–74 Whitbread Round the World Race, but endured mast breakage on two occasions. Tabarly also entered Pen Duick VI in the 1976 Plymouth to Newport Singlehanded Transatlantic Race, which he won, although the boat was designed for a crew of twelve and competitors endured five consecutive ocean storms. Pen Duick VI later competed against the carbonfiber-masted Heath's Condor in the 1977–78 Whitbread Round the World Race (see Volvo Ocean Race) as an unofficial entrant, due to its own exotic material - depleted uranium ballasted keel.All Pen Duick yachts, apart from the lost Pen Duick IV, still race in classic events.


Periparus is a genus of birds in the tit family. The birds in the genus were formerly included in Parus but were moved to Periparus when Parus was split into several resurrected genera following the publication of a detailed molecular phylogenetic analysis in 2005. The name Periparus had been introduced for a subgenus of Parus that included the coal tit by the Belgium naturalist Edmond de Sélys Longchamps in 1884. The genus name, is Ancient Greek peri plus the pre-existing genus Parus.The genus contains the following species:

All occur in Asia; the coal tit also has a wide range in Europe and North Africa. These birds have white cheeks and most have a tufted head.


Rakeeranbeg (, [ɹəˌciəɹənˈbeːɟ]), or Rathkeeranbeg (, [ɹaθˌciəɹənˈbeːɟ]; Irish: Ráth Caorthainn Beag, meaning "little fort of the rowan") is a townland in the Dromore area in County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. It is situated in the barony of Omagh East and the civil parish of Dromore and covers an area of 180 acres.

Ridley Bottom, Tidenham

Ridley Bottom (grid reference ST563985) is a 1.1-hectare (2.7-acre) nature reserve in Gloucestershire. The site is listed in the 'Forest of Dean Local Plan Review' as a Key Wildlife Site (KWS).The site is owned and managed by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. It is one of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust's first nature reserves and was given to the Trust in 1985 in memory of Mr. K. Ridley, naturalist and supporter of the activities of the Wildlife Trust.

Tit (bird)

The tits, chickadees, and titmice constitute the Paridae, a large family of small passerine birds which occur mainly in the Northern Hemisphere and Africa. Most were formerly classified in the genus Parus.

While commonly referred to as "tits" throughout much of the English-speaking world, these birds are called either "chickadees" (onomatopoeic, derived from their distinctive "chick-a dee dee dee" alarm call) or "titmice" in North America. The name titmouse is recorded from the 14th century, composed of the Old English name for the bird, mase (Proto-Germanic *maison, German Meise), and tit, denoting something small. The former spelling, "titmose", was influenced by mouse in the 16th century. Emigrants to New Zealand presumably identified some of the superficially similar birds of the genus Petroica of the family Petroicidae, the Australian robins, as members of the tit family, giving them the title tomtit, although, in fact, they are not related.

These birds are mainly small, stocky, woodland species with short, stout bills. Some have crests. They range in length from 10 to 22 cm. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects. Many species live around human habitation and come readily to bird feeders for nuts or seed, and learn to take other foods.

Vresselse Bossen

East of the village Nijnsel and Hamlet Vressel, Sint-Oedenrode, North-Brabant, Netherlands is the location of the Vresselse bossen or Vresselsche Bosch (Vressels Forest).

The Vresselse Bossen is a forest area of 241 ha. It is owned and managed by the National Forest Service (Staatsbosbeheer).

The forest is named after the nearby hamlet Vressel.

It is a young forest that is planted in a drift-sand ridge.

At the beginning of the 20th century there was scarcely a tree in the area. The area consisted mainly of sand dunes and heathland.

At the edges of the area lived farmers who were severely affected by the shifting sands. To protect the fields was therefore decided to reforest the drift-sand. At that time, almost exclusively pine was used for the reforesting. In the twenties of the 20th century it had become a production forest consisting of Scots pine for the Limburgian mines.

Within the area there are two main fen systems: The Hazenputten and the Oude Putten. Rare vegetation is mainly found around the fens: among others White beak-sedge and bog asphodel can be found here.

The contemporary management by Staatsbosbeheer focuses on getting a more varied forest composition, including native oak, linden and beech. To prevent the Hazenputten from drying, competing vegetation is removed around the pools.

The area around the marshes has been grazed by Highland cattle and Exmoor horses in the past.

The area has a rich bird population. Breeding birds are: yellowhammer, kingfisher, black woodpecker, northern goshawk, little grebe, European green woodpecker, common buzzard, great egret, long-eared owl, coal tit, little owl, barn owl and crested tit.

Also many species of mammals can be encountered:

These include: roe deer, European badger, Eurasian harvest mouse, European polecat, European water vole, European hedgehog, Eurasian red squirrel, common pipistrelle, European hare, brown long-eared bat, stoat, serotine bat, European mole, Natterer's bat, least weasel, red fox, Daubenton's bat, beech marten and several species of shrew, dormice, apodemus and arvicolinae.

The "Hazenputten" was nominated by Staatsbosbeheer for the title of "Most beautiful spot" in the Netherlands in 2013.The Vresselse Bossen are part of Het Groene Woud, a vast nature area between Eindhoven, Den Bosch and Tilburg.

West of the Vresselse Bossen lies the valley of the Dommel, in the northwest the Vresselse Forest reaches the Moerkuilen.

To the north there is the reclaimed heathland of the Jekschot Heath and to the east lies the DAF test track and Mariahout Forest.

Whitegrove Copse

Whitegrove Copse is a local nature reserve within Wick Hill. The nature reserve is owned and managed by Bracknell Forest Borough Council.


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