Archive for January 11th, 2010

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• Monday, January 11th, 2010

Long-tailed tits have become more accustomed to gardens and this year it’s been particularly noticeable. Going back 3 years ago they were hardly ever seen, but now I spot them on a daily basis on my bird feeders. Apparently the long-tailed tits entered the RSPB Big Garden watch top 10 list of most common garden birds for the first time last year. Long tailed tits are small insectivorous birds with, as the name suggest a long tail (see the pictures taken in my garden below).

Long Tailed Tit

Long Tailed Tit

They didn’t used to be so common in gardens and preferred hedgerows and woodlands as their natural habitat but bird experts say that the long run of mild winters has resulted in fewer deaths each year which means that there are more of them able to breed in spring. And they also seem to have adapted and learned to feed from tables or feeders.

They are one of the most graceful little birds I have seen in my garden and I enjoy watching them mostly at the weekend. Long-tailed tits normally travel as a group and this year I have been able to count groups of 6 coming all together to feed on my feeders. Having obeserved them on a daily basis I get the impression that one of the birds of the group is in charge of keeping an eye out for danger whilst the other can feed safely.

Long Tailed Tit on feeder

Long Tailed Tit on feeder


They are very sociable birds indeed and not too scared of humans.
They seem to enjoy the fat balls as well as the special robin grain feed which I have included against a south facing wall near the house.

I may not be doing much gardening at present due to the cold weather but there are many birds to take care of and feed.