Bird Families

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The common blue tit is a small tit, distinguished by a rich vocal repertoire and the predominance of blue in the plumage color.

Blue tit. Blue tit on a snag overgrown with moss.

What does a blue tit look like?

The bird has a short tail and a small beak. The length of the body does not exceed 12 cm, and the weight is 14 g. The peculiarities of the color require a blue cap and dark blue stripes that highlight the contours of a black beak passing through the eyes and closing at the back of the head. The neck is adorned with another blue stripe, resembling a collar.

The forehead and cheeks are white. The tail and wings are generously painted blue. Olive color predominates on the back, but the intensity of the color, along with variations in shade, may vary depending on the region in which the bird lives. The bottom has a greenish-yellow color, which provides the gray-gray legs with a special brightness and visibility.

Females are calmer in color. In their plumage, yellow-white or green-white shades are present rather than juicy yellow-green. The color of the young male is dull. He does not have a blue cap, the upper part of the body is predominantly gray, the bottom is greenish.

The bird is distinguished by great mobility and "talkativeness". Unlike a simple tit, her songs begin with a three-syllable call, developing into a trill with 15 links. Communication with other birds is limited to pronouncing a short cit, which can be repeated with different frequencies and speeds.

Blue tit. Blue tit in flight. Blue tit. Blue tit. Blue tit in flight.

Where lives

In European countries, it is not represented only in Iceland, the highlands of the Balkans and the Alps, as well as in the north of Scotland. The eastern border of the range is considered to be the forest-steppe zone of southern Siberia, southern - Syria, Iraq and Iran, northern - the territory of Norway, Finland and Sweden.

The common blue tit prefers to settle in forests with old trees. The bird does not show any special criteria for landscapes, with the exception of the presence of deciduous trees. It can settle along the banks of rivers, in city parks, in wastelands with rare trees, and even in the thicket of the forest. The attitude towards humans is friendly, which allows birds to create urban populations, counting on feeding in parks.

In forests, the highest population density is observed in places where birches or oaks grow. Among other possible biotypes, blue tit is attracted by the presence of juniper and cedar, thickets of date palms. In arid regions, the bird tries to settle in the floodplain forest along the river valleys.

Blue tit. Blue tit. Blue tit. Blue tit. Blue tit. Blue tit. Blue tit on the spruce.

What does the blue tit feed on?

Despite the small size of the body, the bird prefers animal food. Blue tit hunts for insect larvae and insects themselves, whose size does not exceed 1 cm in length. In the absence of caterpillars and larvae, the main diet of the bird is arachnids. As soon as the caterpillars gain a suitable weight, the birds immediately switch to them.

Blue tit destroys forest pests in huge quantities. Aphids, unpaired silkworms, sawfly larvae, butterfly caterpillars - leafworms, wasps, flies, bedbugs always get into its menu.

In winter and late autumn, birds have to switch to plant foods. Preference is given to tree seeds, especially birch, boxwood, yew, spruce, pine, cypress, oak and maple. Blue tit are not shy and eat feed from bird feeders, choosing peanut or sunflower seeds, unsalted lard from the presented feed. Possessing dexterity and a fair amount of ingenuity, individuals living next to humans have even learned to get cream out of milk cartons. In nature, in winter, birds try to get to the reed or willow thickets on the banks of reservoirs in order to find insects that have decided to hide on the branches.

Blue tit. Blue tit. Blue tit. Blue Tit eats bacon. Blue tit chick.

What does a bird look like

The blue tit is very similar to the common tit, which every city dweller can easily recognize. Looking closely, you can see that the cap and wings of the tit are black with a blue tint. Blue tit feathers are painted in a rich azure color. Hence the name of the bird. Blue tit, like all passerines, are not large in size. They grow up to 12 cm in length. They weigh no more than 15 grams. Bird coloration attracts attention:

  • greenish-yellow abdomen, with a dark stripe running along,
  • azure hat,
  • bright blue arrows extending from a thin beak,
  • white cheeks,
  • azure feathers around the neck, reminiscent of a collar,
  • the tail and wings are blue-blue,
  • soft green back,
  • black beak,
  • blue-gray legs.

Depending on the habitat, the color of the representatives of this order of titmice differs slightly. Males, as a rule, have a brighter and more contrasting coloration. Feathers of females and young birds do not differ in saturation. The young do not have a bright blue cap, the color of the feathers has a grayish or brown tint.

The closest relative of the bird is the blue tit (sometimes called the prince), which is easy to distinguish by its color: a white cap, bluish-white plumage. These birds also differ in character. The latter is cautious, leads a sedentary and more secretive lifestyle, especially during breeding. Blue Tit - very mobile representatives of the tit family, with a cocky character. Small birds will not miss the opportunity to fight with their relatives, reclaiming a place for a nest. Especially vividly militant character traits are manifested in males during the mating season.

Like all tits, blue tit are very curious, but careful, they are afraid to let a person close, but they can be easily tamed with food. They are songbirds. Their distinctive feature is a very rich repertoire. A clear voice like a bell.

Blue tit lifestyle

Since the habitat is very wide, blue tits have adapted to live both in rare forest belts and in dense deciduous forests. Sometimes they can be found in a mixed forest, where oak and birch are mainly represented from deciduous trees.

Also, these birds love river floodplains, and often inhabit even small groves along the banks of reservoirs. They do not shy away from humans at all, and therefore they live in parks and plantings of cities and villages. However, it should be noted that the forage base of blue tit is tied to old trees, which means that the older the planting, the higher the likelihood of the common blue tit settling there.

In mountainous areas, these birds rarely rise above 1700 meters, with the exception of the Caucasus - there these birds were met at an altitude of 3500 meters above sea level. In other territories it often lives sedentary, but nevertheless it wanders closer to the north - this bird does not tolerate cold weather, and is forced to move to the south, to warmer regions. Also, migration can be associated with a small amount of food, and then these birds move to another place, but usually not far. They often huddle in large flocks, but during breeding periods they keep in pairs.

Blue tit food

In the summer, these birds use insects as their main food, living on the leaves of trees, more often oak... Thus, they save plants from the harmful effects of numerous pests, such as: furry silkworm caterpillars, weevils. Therefore, settling, for example, in a garden, they can be of great benefit to its owner.

Also, blue tits feed on spiders, butterflies and their eggs, caterpillars, larvae, which are found on bushes or trees.

In the autumn, blue titmice switch to plant foods: wild elder, oak nuts, rose hips. In winter, they feed on nuts and seeds (sunflower, poppy), and if winter is especially harsh, then in search of food, blue tit begin to examine the bark of trees.

Breeding blue tit

Puberty of representatives of this species occurs at the end of the first year of life. It is at this time that the bird begins to actively search for a mate. And at this time, the males begin to divide the territory. The males guard their "property" zealously and selflessly. Outsiders are instantly expelled from the territory.

Male tits have their own special mating dance. Having chosen a "lady of the heart" for himself, the male, having fluffed up his fur and tail in a fan, presses himself to the ground and fiddles with his paws, dancing. The dance is necessarily accompanied by a flowing and melodic singing. The female must agree, after which the couple begins to sing together.

Nests are usually found in tree hollows. A prerequisite is the height of the hollow: 2-4 meters above the ground. So future parents try to protect their offspring from danger. If the hollow is not wide enough, then the parents widen the entrance by plucking out the wood. The nest itself is built from flexible twigs, soft grass, moss, found feathers and animal hair. Only the female takes part in the construction of the nest.

These small birds are capable of hatching chicks twice in one season. The brood is born in early May and late June. The female lays one egg per day, there are 7-10 eggs in total. In appearance, these are small eggs with a creamy shell, with brown blotches.

Chicks hatch after 14 days from the start of hatching. The mother almost never leaves the nest unattended; the male brings food to the female.

When chicks or eggs are in danger, parents make sounds like the hissing of a snake or the buzzing of a wasp swarm. Thus, they scare away enemies.

Chicks are born blind and naked. Gradually, they become overgrown with fluff, then real plumage appears. After 13-15 days, the chicks go on their own, they can take care of themselves without the help of their parents. The female and male are preparing for the appearance of new offspring.

Tits are known to be monogamous. With one partner, they are able to live for several years, and sometimes their entire life. The life span of the common blue tit is 10-12 years.

Blue tit

Blue tit (Parus coeruleus) differs from other members of the family in color and size. Slightly smaller than a big tit. Length 11-14 cm, weight 9-14 g. The type of color resembles a great tit, the main difference (which by the way follows from the name) is a white cap with a bright blue-blue spot in the center, separated from the white cheeks by a black stripe through the eye. This is one of our most beautiful tits. Young birds are not so contrasting, yellowish-green, without a black throat spot. It is not difficult to consider these dexterous and agile beauties, since the birds are very trusting.

Breeds in Europe, with the exception of northern Scandinavia and northern taiga, forest northwest Africa, Caucasus, Middle East. It spreads intensively to the east, beyond the Urals in the forest-steppe zone it almost reaches the Irtysh. Prefers deciduous and mixed forests, mosaic landscapes, gravitates towards forest edges, parks, there are urban populations in Western Europe.

The blue tit is a sedentary, partially nomadic bird. Appears at nesting sites in March in pairs. In April, the pair starts building the nest. Blue tit nests in ready-made hollows and, if necessary, can even slightly expand the "room", plucking pieces of rotten wood from the walls. The nest itself has the shape of a cup and is woven from green moss, dry blades of grass, wool, fluff, soaked bast fibers, scraps of wool, cobwebs. Blue tit does not like to climb high: most often the entrance to the hollow is located below two meters, and sometimes near the ground itself. Most willingly, the blue tit uses the hollows of small woodpeckers for nesting, natural voids in tree trunks (if the inlet does not exceed 30-35 mm in diameter), crevices of rotten stumps. Both birds build the nest. The tray is lined with horsehair, feathers and down. The built nest is empty for 3-5 days, and then the female lays 9-13 white eggs with reddish-brown specks in it. Only the female incubates; during the incubation period, the male feeds the female in the nest 1-2 times per hour, sometimes she flies out herself in search of food, covering the eggs with fluff. Incubation lasts 12-14 days. The first time after hatching the chicks are fed mainly by the male, the female warms the chicks. From the 4th to 6th day, the female stops warming the chicks during the day and feeds them together with the male. Parents bring food to the nest with adult chicks up to 300 times a day. Chicks spend about 20 days in the nest. Parents feed the hatched chicks for 6-9 days, and then they start the second clutch, which takes place in July.

At the end of summer, flocks of blue tits wander through the forest, visiting during this period not only deciduous, but also coniferous forests, flying to the outskirts of settlements. In winter, blue tits are most often found in pairs (consisting of a male and a female), wandering alone through the forest, or flying with a flock of other species of tits, but always keeping themselves apart from them.

By destroying a large number of forest and garden pests (for example, by destroying the winter nests of the goldentail, eating the hairy gypsy moth caterpillars, as well as a number of other caterpillars and flower-eating weevils), blue tit is of great benefit. Therefore, these birds must be attracted to the city by hanging titmouses and feeding the birds with sunflower seeds, melons and watermelons, as well as pieces of unsalted bacon in winter.

This bird lives up to 12 years. In most of its range, it is a common representative of the feathered fauna; over the past decades, it has significantly increased its numbers in Eastern Europe. Interestingly, the blue tit recognizes some odors as well as humans.

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