Long-tailed Tit

The Long-tailed Tit is an adorable, small, fluffy pinkish bird. The shoulders and underparts are pinkish.

The head has a white crown with black marks above the eyes and into the nape. They have red eye rings and a very small black bill. The black and white tail is very long, over half the length of the bird and the longest tail of any British bird in proportion to its body. The legs are black-brown. Juveniles lack pink and have grey-black cheeks.

They feed mostly on insects and their larvae, and spiders, but also on berries. Increasingly, Long-tailed Tits are feeding from peanut feeders and suet cake in gardens.

The Long-tailed Tit’s nest is an elastic ball of moss, spiders’ webs, lichen, feathers, and hair that is built by both birds in a bush, hedge or tree; brambles and gorse are favourite places. The nest may take up to 3 weeks to build and be lined with more than 2000 feathers. The female lays and incubates smooth and glossy eggs that are white with purplish-red spots, and are about 14 mm by 10 mm. Both adults feed the newly-hatched young, and are often assisted by other birds, especially males, that have failed to breed that season.

The Long-tailed Tits usually fly around in flocks of up to twenty or so, and they are twittering continually to one another. When they are in the trees, they can be seen busily flitting from branch to branch looking for insects. Long-tailed tits are very acrobatic and will hang upside-down from the end of branches, etc.

Mostly, a large flock is seen among the taller trees, with just a few birds venturing in to our garden. Long-tailed Tits are resident and mostly sedentary throughout the UK.  Some move short distances from their nesting sites, especially in the winter when families join roaming flocks of up to typically 20 birds, often including other species of Tits, in search of food within a winter feeding territory.

Further bird images can be viewed here

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s