Blue Tit

Blue Tit

Key facts

Scientific name: Cyanistes caeruleus

Status: Resident breeding species

Breeding birds: 3,600,000 pairs

Wintering birds: 15 million

Conservation status: Green

Length: 11.5 cm

Wingspan: 17.5 – 20 cm

Weight: 9 – 12.5 g

Description

Blue tits have bright blue caps and a bold black eye-stripe bordered by white cheeks. The wings are bright blue and the underparts are yellow, with a faint black stripe on the belly.

The female is slightly paler than the male and juvenile blue tits are duller with yellow cheeks and greener upperparts and crown.

Nesting

Blue tits will nest in any small holes including unusual places like postboxes and are common occupants of nest boxes. They construct nests from soft downy material such as wool, moss and spider webs.

Blue tits lay large clutches of eggs around mid-April; typically between 10-12 but sometimes as much as 16.

The smooth, glossy eggs are white with red speckles and are incubated by female blue tits for 13-15 days. The young fledge after around 16-22 days.

Feeding

Blue tits feed mainly on caterpillars, seeds and nuts. They will also eat fruit and nectar from plants.

With their incredible agility and ability to learn from others blue tits are quick to exploit new food sources, making them a common visitor to bird feeders.

Blue Tit

Where to see them

Blue tits can be seen all year round in woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens. They are widespread throughout the whole of the UK except some remote Scottish Islands.

Listen

Timo S./xeno-canto

Did you know?

A pair of blue tits will feed up to 15,000 flies or caterpillars to their fledglings over just three weeks.

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