(tits), a subfamily of birds of the family Paridae. The 46 species of Parinae are widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America (including Mexico). Fourteen species of the genus Parus are found in the USSR, including the great tit (P. major), Siberian tit (P. cinctus), varied tit (P. varius), blue tit (P. caeruleus), azure tit (P. cyanus), crested tit (P. cristatus), coal tit (P. ater), willow tit (P. montanus), and marsh tit (P. palustris). For the most part, the birds inhabit forests. Outside the nesting season, they wander in flocks, often with other small birds. They feed on insects, spiders, and seeds.
The great tit is the most common Parus species in the USSR. It nests in holes or nest boxes. A clutch contains eight to 15 eggs, which are incubated for about two weeks. In winter the great tit often frequents human habitations. It is a useful bird, feeding on insects in gardens and forests.