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Great Tit

Member of (Paridae (Tit) family

Characteristics

The Great Tit is the largest European tit – about the size of a House Sparrow. It is found throughout the UK and is the most scientifically investigated British bird.

Males can be separated from females as they have a much broader black stripe down their belly.

The Great Tits’ song is varied, and this can give the impression that there are more of them in a territory than there actually are. It’s perhaps best known for its piercing “teecher-teecher” song which is usually heard in the spring and summer.

What They Eat & What You Can Offer Them

Great Tits feed mainly on insects, such as caterpillars and spiders. In the garden they will feed from hanging feeders containing nuts and seeds, such as sunflower hearts, or on kitchen scraps from bird tables. In particularly severe winters they may consume nearly half their body weight a day in sunflower seeds, so make sure feeders are well topped up!

They sometimes follow Coal Tits to their caches of seeds which are often in hanging baskets or similar containers. Bizarrely Great Tits have been also known to feed on small hibernating bats

Where They Live & How You Can Help Them

They will nest in a hole in a tree or wall, or among the twigs of old nests. The nest is a cup made from moss, grass and down, and lined with hair, plant down and feathers. Nest boxes are frequently used, but they need a slightly larger entrance hole than is found on a standard Blue Tit box.

The 10-15 eggs are usually laid in two clutches and take about 14 days to incubate

Generally, the Great Tit is doing well, both expanding its range and increasing in abundance. This may be a result of milder winters and using nest boxes and feeders in gardens.

 

And Finally……..

The brightness of the yellow colour of the male bird’s breast has been shown to correlate with stronger sperm, and is one way that the male demonstrates his reproductive superiority to females.

 

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