This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
Nothing but good can be said of this bird in the woods and plantations, and though credited with sometimes doing injury to fruit bushes and trees by attacking the buds, this is not consonant with our experience.
In woods and plantations no greater benefactor to the timber-grower exists, as it feeds largely on the tree's worst enemies, and though visiting fruit plantations and accused of destroying black-currant buds, even attacking pears and apples, these accusations are not verified by our experience. True, the cole tit will pull blossom buds to pieces, but this is not for the vegetable food, for if examined, the buds will be found to contain the larvae of some insect, so that the work is of a repressive nature. The tits eat the caterpillar and chrysalis of the bud-moth.
To the osier grower the marsh-tit is particularly valuable, also to the alder, poplar and willow growers, as it feeds upon the insect pests of these plants, and feeding on weed seeds, particularly those of the thistle, is useful to the country.