Birds – Long-tailed tit

Birds – Long-tailed tit

Long-tailed tit

Long-tailed tit male

In this article we will see: “Long-tailed tit”, birds, diverse and captivating, grace our skies with their melodies. From vibrant plumage to impressive flights, they captivate with endless wonders.

Birds – Long-tailed tit

Brief Background

Length: 12-14 cm; folded wing: 55-68 mm; wingspan: 16-18 cm; tail: 71-97 mm; beak: 7 mm. Weight: 5 to 10 g.

Appearance and Behaviour

Adults: white head marked with a black band extending from the eye to the shoulders; black back with pink scapulars and white-bordered primaries; pink rump; underparts white turning pinkish under the belly and tail; tail black bordered with white; eye, beak, and legs black.

Adorned with delicate colors, subtly combining white, pink, and black, the Long-tailed Tit is easily recognizable. While its subtly shaded plumage is a key element in determining the species, its slender body, elongated by a very long tail, gives the bird a delicate and unparalleled silhouette in Europe. Sociable by nature, the tit dislikes being alone. It is usually observed in the company of a few congeners, with communication between group members ensured by constant “tssi-tssi-tssi” calls, mechanical repeated high-pitched chirps, quite soft and pleasant to hear.

The Long-tailed Tit preferably inhabits hedges, thickets, gardens, and parks.

Long-tailed tit

Long-tailed tit female

Food

A voracious consumer of insects and small creatures, the Long-tailed Tit delights in aphids, spiders, caterpillars, moths, and small beetles, supplementing this diet with the eggs and larvae of its favorite prey.

Long-tailed tit's voice sample

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Reproduction

Before the arrival of spring, usually in March or even February, winter flocks disperse, and each bird resumes its independence. A true masterpiece of meticulousness, the nest of the Long-tailed Tit is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. Composed of moss and other light and silky materials firmly bound together with horsehair and spider silk, it is an elongated ball whose exterior is carefully covered with lichen.

The interior, even softer, is lined with fluffy feathers and hairs. Constructing this nest, a task undertaken by both adults, requires about two to three weeks of constant effort and back-and-forth trips. Often pressed against a tree trunk, blending with the bark, or placed at the fork of a branch, it can also be hung in a thorny bush or hidden in climbing ivy, between 2 and 3 meters high.

Long-tailed tit's eggs

Long-tailed tit’s eggs

In early April, sometimes late March, the female lays her 7 to 12 eggs. White to off-white with reddish speckles. Averages: 11 x 13 mm; weight: 0.8 g. Incubation, carried out by the female, begins before the end of laying and lasts for 2 weeks.

After hatching, both adults participate in feeding the young, increasing their visits to the nest as the chicks grow and become more demanding. At 15 days old, they leave their now cramped nest for nearby trees to complete their development.

Migration

Possibly migratory in Northern Europe, the Long-tailed Tit appears sedentary or erratic elsewhere on the continent. Winter brings together adults dispersed during the summer, with small groups then making local movements more akin to wandering than true migratory behavior.

Distribution

The Long-tailed Tit, which has 9 subspecies worldwide, breeds throughout Europe, except in northern Scandinavia and the northern Black Sea. It is also known in Asia Minor and up to Japan.

Training platforms

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A final word

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