Billy Biter in Sussex and Biting Tom an Northumberland as the sitting bird would bite the fingers of boys after their eggs. Blue Bonnet in Scotland and Blue Cap in the north of England. Tom Tit, Blue Titmouse are other names.
Habitat: Many different habitats from the country to gardens but prefers deciduous woodland.
Distribution: Worldwide: Abundant across Europe throughout the year.
UK: All except small areas of Scotland and the Isles.
Numbers: European Population Size: Summer: 19 to 42 million pairs
U.K. : 3.4 million Territories (Summer) 15 Million in winter.
Food: Chicks hatch when green caterpillars are in abundance. In spring nectar and pollen are taken, they also eat aphids and other garden pests and will take food provided by the many human bird feeders especially suit fat balls and Peanuts in winter.
Breeding: Nests using moss, wool, hair and plant matter forming a cup shape which is lined with down. The nest is built in a hole in tree but the Blue Tit readily takes to nest boxes or other man- made receptacles such as letter boxes. 4 – 15 white with red-brown spots eggs hatch after 12 to 16 days.
Bill: Small dumpy seed eater bill, showing its diverse diet
Length: 11 – 12 cm cm.
One of our most colorful birds here in the U.K. although often overlooked due to our familiarity with this common active
little tit so often found around man in his garden, feeding of the peanuts from the bird table or in the countryside
especially around woodland. Anyone that observes this bird will notice its ability to hang upside down, whilst searching
for foods, which enable them to feed under leaves on trees which overcomes various insects first line in survival by
hiding under the leaves whilst feeding on the leaf.
It has been stated that the blue tits would time their nesting so that the young emerged or hatched from the egg along with the caterpillars emerging, a pair can need to find up to 1000 caterpillars a day to feed a brood of 10 chicks ,those caterpillars eaten are generally greenish, many websites state yellow green caterpillars, but my understanding from my days of aviary culture was that the green caterpillars were non toxic to birds, were as the hairy caterpillars were generally toxic, that said the cuckoo is one bird that can eat hairy caterpillars, the other caterpillars can sit in either camp. Woodlands with oak tree in are very popular for Blue Tits most likely because the Oak can be a hoist for over 400 different insects, far more then any other British tree, hence more chance of our lovely Blue Tit finding some food among its branches. Cold winters or wet and cold weather when the chicks hatch courses there numbers to decline, I’m not surprised by this because their food supply chain has also been advisedly effected as insects are cold blooded so more dormant during cold conditions.
Tree holes are not only used for nesting in but in cold weather a number of bird will collect and rest over night in these or nest boxes to conserve heat.
The Blue Tit will culturally transmit learning among itself, this was born out from the days when Milk was delivered to most household daily by the Milkman, when in cold weather most bottles had there tin foil caps broken open and the rich cream being pinched by the local Tom Tit, we found that the richer creamy gold top was always robbed but we may be lucky and fined the odd silver top had escaped their beaks as long as we collected it sharply from the doorstep.
We have two very similar looking subspecies of Blue Tit in the U.K. our normal resident one (obscures) and a European visitor (caeruleus) of the 15 globally.
The Blue Tit has been used on stamps in Britain in 1966 and again in 2010 with a Post and Go edition by the talented bird artist Robert Gilmore especially known for his linocuts, you will find other countries have also used the image of this bird to produce stamps.
If you were a bird you would see that the Blue Tits head glow brightly under UV light and it is believed the intensity of the glow is what attaches the female to the males in selecting their partners.
|Tom Tit||Blue Tit in Winter painting|| Blue Tit painting
||Blue Tit photo|
7” x 5” image for licensing
|Winter Blue Tit by artist Richard Allen|| Blue Tit artwork
by Sam Harvey
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