Bird of the Month - Blue Tit

In this blog post series, we will be looking at a different bird every month to learn a little bit more about the birds we see in our gardens. In this first instalment, we will be looking at the Blue Tit.

Blue Tit - Cyanistes Caeruleus

Average size
The blue tit is 12 cm long, with a wingspan of 18cm. They weigh around 11g, that's less than a AAA battery!

Average Lifespan
3 years

How to spot them
With blue, yellow, white and green feathers, the blue tit is one of the most recognisable birds and frequents gardens across the country. They are also the only bird in the British tit family that has blue feathers. The feathers of the male are usually a lot brighter than the females. Listen to their call below:


What to feed them
The diet of a Blue Tits consists of insects, caterpillars, seeds, and nuts.
Fill your feeder with mixed seed, whole shelled peanuts, fat balls and sunflower hearts.

Video made by avibirds

Nesting
Blue tits start seeking out nesting real estate as early as January with the hope of nesting by the end of March. They are nest box frequenters but can also be found in the cracks of trees or walls. Once they've found the perfect spot they build their nests from things like moss, hair, leaves, feathers, and even spider webs! They then line it with feathers, wool, and fur to make it soft and cosy for their chicks. Blue tits only lay once a year in the spring, laying on average 7-14 eggs around late April. Incubation is around 15 days.

Behaviours to watch in the box
Using our cameras you will see the little lives of the Blue Tits.

  • You'll see that as the Mummy blue tit is incubating the eggs that Daddy will be in and out of the nest bringing her food.
  • The mother will pluck feathers from her belly to create a bald spot to provide as much warmth to her eggs as she can. This is called a 'Brood Spot'.
  • Once hatched, the chicks will spend around 3 weeks in the nest before fledging.
  • Once hatched, the parents will be in and out of the nest box to bring food to the chicks. Each chick can eat up to 100 times a day so Mum and Dad are very busy.
  • You'll also notice Mum and Dad removing things from the nests, there are the chicks faecal sacks so mum and dad are just tidying up.


Fledging
When the chicks are ready to fledge, usually around 18-21 days old, mum and dad will call from outside the nest, urging them to come to them. Each chick will poke its head out and tentatively, and clumsily, make their first flight to the nearest branch. They will stay with mum and dad and being fed by them for a few weeks. They will be taught to find food, protect themselves until they are strong enough and wise enough to look after themselves.

Fun Fact
When milk used to be delivered to our doors by milkmen, blue tits would remove the foil from the bottle of milk and collect the cream from the top. Sneaky little things!

 


Can you help them?
The blue tit is not an at-risk bird by any means but a fully stocked feeder, especially in the colder months, would certainly be appreciated as starvation is the largest threat to birds. Having a nest box in your garden will also give blue tits a place to rest and nest. Blue tit numbers have been increasing each year and this is believed to be due to supplementary feeding and the popularity of nest boxes in gardens.

If you want to set up a nest box for the blue tits and take a peek inside. Our Complete DIY Wireless Birdbox Kit is perfect to get started and to get to know our little blue feathered friends better.


47 comments


  • Lynne Clayton

    I have a box in back garden that had a nesting pair in a couple of months ago. I put one up round the front and within 2 days had another pair in. Think they hatched about 2 weeks ago, mum and dad busy feeding and are now taking stuff out of nest. Hope I am lucky to see chick fly I missed the ones round back. Is there any particular time of day when it will be?


  • Alison

    My Vizsla has found a small baby Blue tit, fully fledged, against a wall with leaves round it. Suspect fallen from nest in ivy on the house. Will the parents feed it? If not what do I give it? Got small seeds for general birds and may be able to find grubs in garden. How often do they need food and will it be warm enough over night? Hope you can advise to save it. ASAP please.


  • Julie

    I have a blue tit which is constantly in and out the box. I think it’s the only one. What is it doing ? I’m guessing it’s to late in the year now for babies ?


  • Unknown

    Help a blue tit had had babies in out air vent weve removed the air vent to see if the mum has access to the babies. She only had 2 of them one sadly passed will the mum leave the other baby or still bother with it


  • Jennifer H

    Every single morning around 7oclock there’s a little blue tit that keep flying to my window falling on to sill then over to my neighbours house does the same on there window , back and fourth does anyone know why it would do this?


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