Blue Tit

Cyanistes caeruleus

11.5cm

Appearance

Females and males are similar, but males are usually brighter than females. The cap, tail and wings are blue, the upper parts greenish and the underparts yellow. The head is mostly white, except for a black/dark-blue line across the eye which joins a dark patch at the back of the head and down the throat. A crest sometimes rises from the blue cap, the bill is stout, and the legs are blue-tinged. Juveniles lack the vibrancy of adults, particularly in the blue markings; their cheeks have a yellow tinge.

Habitat

The Blue Tit can be found in large numbers across the region, with the exception of smaller northern islands. It has a preference for deciduous woods, particularly oak, but also breeds closer to humans, even amongst the town hubs.

Character

The search for food may take the Blue Tit out of its territory, but most birds do not stray far. They may dangle beneath branches when feeding, and may associate with other group of birds in the search for food.

Food

Summer diet is predominately insects and spiders, and berries and nuts are introduced during autumn. Frequents bird feeders in gardens.

Breeding

Begins at the end of April or beginning of May. Females build the nest and males feed their partner as a sign of courting. Female incubates 8-10 eggs for 13-16 days, and both parents tend to the young until they depart the nest at about 18-21 days old.

Population

Quite a sedentary bird, with most of the population remaining within 10km of origin. The population is approximately 3.6 million pairs in the UK and up to one million in Ireland.

Observation Tips

The Blue Tit is often a simple pleasure to observe, as they are widespread in the region and are easily attracted to gardens and feeders. Search for them in deciduous trees amongst flocks of other small birds.

Voice

Call is a clicking ‘tsee, see er-er-er’, and the song combines a trill with a whittle.
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