Blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

There’s only one bird that comes close to equalling the memorable status of the Robin amongst British people, and that is, of course, the humble and plentiful Blue tit.

Striking in appearance and replete with gorgeous colours, it’s hard to miss the blues, greens and yellows of this particular bird. With its characteristic dark band around the eyes, something presumably Adam Ant took inspiration from, you’ll see this little fellow all year round and in the vast majority of gardens across the UK. Certainly, it is a curious fact that approximately 98% of gardens across the UK will, at some point over winter, receive a visit from a Blue tit.

Characteristics

You will know the Blue tit as the bird of three principle colours: blue, yellow and green. Being of rather petite stature, the Blue tit wears a blue cap which falls onto primarily white facial features with a dark band encircling the head, parallel to the eyes. Its yellow breast, green back and distinctive light and dark blue wings, with a similarly coloured short tail, complete the picture.

Of all tits native to the UK, Cyanistes caeruleus is the only one with any hint of blue on its plumage.

Nesting & breeding: diary of a Blue Tit

Month Activity
February Searching for a nesting site
March Feeding in preparation for breeding period
April Nest building period. The nest is cup-shaped and made of moss, grass, feathers and wool, and is often lined with hair. Females lay 7 – 13 eggs in April-May. Incubation time is approximately 12 – 16 days. The chicks fledge after 19 days.
May Breeding: one egg per day (in the morning), chicks hatch naked and blind – incredibly vulnerable.
June Fledgling period for the young; parents call from outside box to encourage young out of the box or nest
July Fledglings stay with parents for a few weeks after they fledge – peanuts and sunflower hearts can be a great source of nutrition to help Blue tits build up strength.

Favourite “haunts”

Blue tits can be found in parks, hedgerows, woodland and, of course, gardens. They occupy the vast majority of the UK, apart from some small northern Scottish island territory, and are resident all year round. What’s fascinating about the Blue tit is its loyalty to home territory: only in extreme cases will a Blue tit wander more than a few kilometres away from its original place of birth.

You’ll find Blue tit populations fluctuate considerably, especially over winter when, owing to considerably harsh conditions, a rapid decline may ensue. If there were a particularly harsh winter period, with freezing conditions, many Blue tits may fail to find an appropriate source of food for survival.

Diet

Blue tits adore eating insects, their favourite food (caterpillars). Despite this, though, Blue tits generally have a mixed and varied diet, and wouldn’t necessarily be called fussy eaters.

Put out seeds, peanuts, sunflower hearts or mealworm, and your feeders will almost certainly be seen to by one of your Blue tits. Interestingly, if you were to notice four or five Blue tits feeding in your garden, you can be sure those birds are supporting up to twenty or more juvenile tits. *It is important to note that whole peanuts can be dangerous for young, juvenile Blue tits.

Interactive Blue tit

Ideal for feeding Blue tits

Dried Mealworm

Birds really love these dried mealworms. They have all the protein of live mealworms with less wastage, and an extra long shelf life. Use the mealworms alone, or mix with your favourite seed. No special storage conditions required.

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Ultiva® Autumn and Winter Seed Mix

The winter period can be a time of distress for many garden birds: scarce food, harsh conditions and struggle. It’s for these reasons why we introduced Ultiva® Autumn & Winter seed mix, a specially-formulated mixture of high energy, oil-rich seeds and grains that feature black sunflower seeds, naked oats and white dari.

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Premium Wild Bird Peanuts

High quality, recent crop, aflatoxin-tested wild bird peanuts. Rich in fibre, fat and protein, they are a nutritious year-round food for a wide range of garden birds. May slightly differ in appearance but our bird peanuts are always tested according to BRC standard quality.

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Premium Wild Bird Sunflower Hearts

These highly nutritious and oil-rich sunflower hearts for wild birds come without the husks of complete sunflower seeds. Specially treated to prevent any extraneous growth in the garden, sunflower hearts are a sure favourite among many different garden bird species.

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