Bearded Reedling

(Panurus biarmicus)


The bearded reedling (Panurus biarmicus), also known as bearded tit, is a colorful little passerine bird distributed across Eurasia, where the European distribution is quite patchy. It has a long tail, bringing the total length up to 16.5 cm (6.5 in). Both sexes are orange-brown in color, but males are more colorful, with a greyish blue head and the telltale black beardlike feathers below each eye. Even though it is often referred to as a tit, it is not closely related to tits. It does not have any close living relatives and is placed within its own family. It is believed to be a distant relative of the old world warblers and their allies.

Diet & habitat

The bearded reedling is almost exclusively found within reedbeds at wetland habitats, both by the sea and inland at altitudes up to more than 3000 meters above sea level. Its diet change with the seasons, with small insects, such as aphids, being the primary food item during the summer months. During winter, reed seeds take over as the main source of food. Bearded reedlings are not seasonal migrants but will move to and from places when conditions change. Wintering grounds often change with the availability of edible seeds in the reedbeds, as a lack of seeds makes it harder to survive harsh winters.


Breeding season lasts from late March to early September. Both the male and female construct the nest, which is a deep cup nestled among the reeds in which they live. The nest is made of reed blades and other aquatic plants. 4 to 8 eggs are laid and incubated for 10-14 days by both parents. After hatching the chicks stay within the nest for about 12-16 days but stay reliant on the parents for another two weeks.


Bearded reedling is common most of the areas where it is resident, and it is quick to colonize new suitable areas. With wetland restorations ongoing across Europe, the species is possibly increasing in numbers. It is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List.

Click the markers on the map to see my observations of this species

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