Long-tailed Tit -
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Long-Tailed Tit

Aegithalos caudatus

Long-tailed Tits rove woods and hedgerows searching for seeds in autumn and winter and for insects year round. Other members of the tit family will often join their large, excitable 

flocks of eight to twenty. 

With tails longer than their bodies, patterned, soft-pink plumage, and a bubbly 'prrt-prrt' call, dainty Long-tailed Tits are some of our most delightful garden residents. They are one of the UK's tiniest birds, weighing less than a 10p piece. We particularly notice them in winter when they flit from tree to tree in search of food and they can occasionally be spotted in the evening huddled together along branches and in hawthorn bushes. 

Amazing Elastic Nests

Some larger nests have been found to contain linings made from more than 2,000 feathers.

Long-tailed Tits have a fascinating family life. The male and female work together to build their stretchy, bottle-shaped nest in a bush or the fork of a tree, camouflaging it with moss, lichen, cobwebs and sometimes bits of paper. To make it cosy for their chicks, they line the nest with hundreds of feathers picked up along with the other building materials.

The female incubates a clutch of between eight and twelve eggs and once the chicks hatch other Long-tailed Tits often help with feeding. The helpers are usually siblings of the parent birds who have lost their own nests. After 14-18 days the nest is at breaking point and the young ready to fledge but family life doesn't stop there - Long-tailed Tits are very social birds, with parents, children, aunts and uncles all searching together for food in flocks.   

To Learn More

Visit the RSPB and don't forget to join the Big Garden Birdwatch

Copyright © Karen Meadows 2018 

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