Beautiful Blue Tits

By Elizabeth McArdle

Spring is on its way and all of life is eager and waiting to get busy. For the winter months, the blue tits have been visiting our bird tables and the green and yellow flash of their feathers always brings a welcome burst of colour to any garden. Weighing only 11 grams (less than half an ounce) and measuring only 12cm in length, this tiny bird is normally found in deciduous woodlands, farmland, and in our gardens.

Mrs Blue Tit will build a tiny cup shaped nest of moss, hair, feathers and even bailing twine. Mr Blue Tit does not partake in the construction but keeps a sharp eye on Mrs Blue Tit to ensure that another male does not take a fancy to his beloved. While nests are normally built in old walls and holes in trees, blue tits will readily set up home in human made objects such as nest boxes, post boxes and even traffic lights at busy junctions. It seems they have also benefited from the ‘smoking ban’. Some pubs have had to prohibit their smokers from stubbing cigarettes on the wall mounted ash trays, as families of blue tits have taken up residence there. A pair of blue tits will feed as many as 15,000 flies or caterpillars to their young in the space of three weeks. What a delicious and healthy diet.

We all know that spending time outdoors and connecting with the natural world has many physical and mental benefits. This is good news and now that the light is increasing and the weather is getting warmer, there is no excuse not to don your coat and boots and head out to listen to the spring chorus. There will be many wonderful birds there and chief among them will be the beautiful blue tits.