Saturday, 8 March 2014

Long tailed Tit

I thought I would continue with my Saturdays post and today I am showing you the Long tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)I was sitting on the doorstep, waiting for Eileen to arrive to go bird watching and these 2 Long tailed Tits were flying back and forth from tree to tree.  I love these fluffy bundles of fun and am linking my post to Saturday Critters.  I will tell you a little about the bird as you go through the photographs.


 Long-tailed Tits are delightful birds to encounter, swinging through the trees in tight noisy groups. Their appearance, like a tiny, fluffy ball with a great long black and white tail is quite unmistakable.


Bottoms up.


Length - 51/2”  Tail is 3” and body 21/2”





 Sexes similar.


Voice -  The impending arrival of a flock is always announced by their calls. Their 'see-see' notes are similar to those of many other small birds but their stuttering 'trrrt, trrrt' notes are diagnostic.




Habitat - Breeds in dense vegetation on woodland edges, scrubby thickets and hedgerows. Occurs more widely in winter including woods and gardens.


Food - Small insects and spiders


 Behaviour - The constant calls of Long-tailed Tits are to help the flock stay together. If one bird gets separated from the rest of the flock, the others will double-back to 'rescue' it. This means that if you can imitate their calls you can attract a flock to within a few feet of you and it also explains why ringers sometimes find that a mist-net full of Long-tailed Tits often contains birds which have entered from both directions. This apparent 'care' for the well-being of other members of the flock is almost certainly related to the fact that many flocks are in fact family parties of closely-related individuals.



 Population trends - Apart from in France, where a decline has been noted, populations throughout Europe are at least stable and those in northern Europe have increased markedly. In the UK, for example, numbers increased by 46% during 1970-1994, though they seem to have levelled off since then.


                                           Migration - Sedentary.


 Population in Britain and Ireland - 273,000 territories in the UK, most common in the south. Ireland supports a further 20-100,000 territories.


Nests - The nests are in the depths of a prickly bush.  Starts weaving moss, cobwebs, wool & hair into a matted base.  Then works from inside making a domed roof with a small entrance near the top.  


Then they cover the outside with 3000 flakes of lichen to make it waterproof and inside they insulate it with 1,500 feathers.  Most found in one nest was 2.800.  I will show you a video at the end of this post however it is not mine but thanks to Grant Auton you can see a nest being build. 


Eggs -  8-12, white, laid in March to April. 
Incubation takes 12-14 days.
Young fledge after 14-18 days. 1-2 broods per year.


Ageing - Juveniles are shorter-tailed than adults, with much less pink in their underparts. The dark on the face is more extensive, completely surrounding the eye. However, once they moult in the Autumn they are indistinguishable from adults. 

The video can be accessed at 

http://youtu.be/kTa6-MXsomg

If there is a black space below, click it and the video will appear.




I hope you enjoyed hearing and seeing this lovely little bird and once again many thanks to Grant Auton from www.gautonphotography.com 

Thank you for visiting and also to those who left comments on any of my blogs.

31 comments:

  1. Thanks for showing that L.T.T nest building, it looks a snug little nest,Great post as always.


    peter

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  2. Cracking little birds to see Margaret...and that nest is a work of art...[;o)

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  3. Cute captures of your Long-tailed Tit! They are adorable birds. Great post. Have a happy weekend!

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  4. They certainly work had to make their nest cozy!

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  5. they are certainly one of the cutest birds, ever.

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  6. such a darling little bird! And your shots of them are great. i was very excited to find that there is a big birding convention at a marshland not too far from my cabin. An area called the RED SLOUGH, and one that i had never heard of before. Definitely going to make a trip there. You have inspired me.

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  7. Margaret, I wanted to thank you for linking up with the Saturday Critter party.. Enjoy your weekend!

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  8. hatte neulich auch auch das Glück und habe sie gesehen..diese zarten Stimmen..wie flüstern.
    Danke für die schonen Bilder
    mit einem LG vom katerchen
    http://katerchen.designblog.de

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  9. You have some great pictures there Margaret. When I try and photograph LTTs they never keep still for long enough to get pictures like that.

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  10. Wow! gorgeous birds and wonderful photography ~ know how you love birds and nature ~ know they are such a gift ~ thanks, xxx ~ I tried commenting on google but for some reason wouldn't allow me to even though I do have a google profile ~ ah the craziness of cyberspace ~ Happy Weekend to you ~ ^_^

    artmusedog and carol

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  11. What wonderful photos, Margaret, as well as interesting data. How obliging of the two of them to pose together for you.

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  12. Such beautiful birds. Thank you.

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  13. Beautiful LTTs, they are the best. The photos and video are absolutely stunning.

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  14. You did well, M, to get those shots of the LTTs - they're for everlasting on the move! What camera are you using? It's better than my old thing!

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    1. hi Errol. many thanks for your kind comments. my camera is. Panasonic Lumix. FX38.

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  15. They are amazing little birds!! Beautiful photos Margaret.

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  16. This is so interesting because when I first ran across a blogger living in the UK at the time referring to a 'tit' I thought it was short for the little titmice birds that we have over here in the USA. All of these gorgeous photos and info was great! :)

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  17. Wow, I've never seen Long-tailed Tits; SO LOVELY♬♬♬ And your explanations are really informative, especially not much sex differences.
    Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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  18. WoW, that's a very impressive tail and I beautiful bird!! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!!

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  19. They're adorable little birds. Have a lovely Sunday, Margaret!

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  20. I learn something new every day in Blogland . . . thank you for introducing me to the Long Tailed Tit . . .

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  21. Margaret, this bird is beautiful.
    It looks like a mascot.
    I wish you a nice week.
    Greetings.

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  22. This is an adorable little bird. Love that tail. Great video, the nest looks soft and spongy.

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  23. ah, what a beauty this is. Ours is not that dark but equallly beautiful.

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