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British Bird of the Month: Blue Tit

British Bird of the Month: Blue Tit
By Rob Gale 19 days ago

Member of Paridae (Tit) family

Characteristics

The acrobatic and cheeky Blue Tit is found across the UK, they will entertain for hours by hanging upside down from feeders or branches. They are a non-migratory bird and are a favourite on garden bird-feeders

Whilst not immediately noticing their blueness a close look reveals bright blue wings, tail and crown. They have a thin black streak down the middle of the belly, unlike the Great Tit’s wide streak. The sexes are similar, though the female is slightly paler.

What They Eat & What You Can Offer Them

Blue Tits feed mostly on insects, especially caterpillars, and seeds. In springtime they feed also on pollen, nectar and sap, and in the autumn on berries.

Buy LIVE Mealworms

In the garden they search among the plants and crevices for insects (e.g. aphids, beetles, and caterpillars) and spiders, but also take sunflower hearts or high energy seed from bird feeders, or peck at a fat ball or peanuts.

Hanging feeders of fat and peanuts will attract Blue Tits, and a plentiful supply of mealworms during the breeding season will help them feed their young.

Where They Live & How You Can Help Them

Blue Tits will nest in any hole in a tree, wall or nest box. They are well known for nesting in more unusual places, such as letter boxes, pipes, etc. The nest is a cup made by the female from moss, wool, dead leaves, spiders’ webs, and lined with down.

Their clutch size is very large laying typically 10 to 12 eggs. The eggs are laid when there are plenty of catterpillars around to feed the young. Incubation is about 14 days.

And Finally……..

Blue Tits are able to transmit learning to other Tit species. An example of this, dating from the 1920s, is the ability to open old fashioned foil topped milk bottles to get at the cream underneath

You may not realise just how many Blue Tits use your garden through the course of a day because they all look the same! Bird ringers operating nets in gardens have found that many dozens of Blue Tits can pass through a garden on a single day.