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


  • Penelope Croxson

    We have had a blue tit lay 4 eggs yesterday, on viewing the camera box again today, find that the eggs have been broken by her, or him, and only the shells remain, what is the reason for this?


  • Emily Wand

    We followed your instructions and built a nest box during the first lockdown. We have been very excited watching the blue tits fly in and out. Today even more excitement to discover their eggs have hatched 😄


  • Tommy Stannett

    Help! I need advice. Is there any rescue place that can hatch out a large clutch of blue tit’s eggs. Female been laying but then commotion in back garden and I saw magpie picking up bluetit and eating. Futher down garden another bit of bluetit. Checked box and all eggs covered over with breast feathers. Hopefully still laying clutch and not sitting. This was 20/05/2021. I tried messaging Miss Tiggywinkles


  • Christine Christie

    Mum and dad and babys have left our bird box and are frequent visitors in the nearby trees and enjoy feeding on the best quality fat ball put out for them ,I do miss watching mum.and dad flying in and out feeding their young ,it was a great thing to watch at breakfast time ,I do hope they come back ,we had two separate occasions were cats were trying to get look in but we put up spikes to deture this happening again ,


  • peter mullett

    i have 5 chicks in my nest box about 3 days old,the parents were in and out regulary,at the moment it has been raining for a couple of hours and i have not seen either parent shouild i be concerned.


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