Calling For Mum

Great Tit (Parus major)

I was out in the garden this morning when I heard the tits in the trees. There was quite a lot of chatter, so I gathered a family had arrived. And I saw an adult Great Tit come down to my feeder, take some fat nibbles, then disappear into the high boughs, all happening quite quickly I did not even get a chance to get a  photo. This happened a few times. but the juveniles must have got impatient for they came down to help themselves in the end. And although the light was not particularly good, I managed to get some shots in.

It is a large colourful bird with a distinctive shiny black head, and a thick black stripe down the bright yellow underside. It also has a white cheek patch, blue-grey wings and a grey tail with white sides. The females sports a narrower black stripe down the underside. The juvenile has yellowish cheeks and a dull greenish-black head.

It mainly feeds on the ground compared to the smaller tits, eating insects, seeds, berries, and nuts. It forms a nest of a cup of moss, leaves, and grass in a natural hole such as a woodpecker hole or a nest box. The female lays 5-11 eggs in 1 brood from April to May. They can live for up to 3 years.

Seen all all year round, and found in a wide variety of habitats, including woodland and parks. They are a bold and aggressive species, and are well-known almost anywhere, being one of our most familiar garden birds. It is a common visitor to bird tables and feeders. Common and widespread throughout the UK, except the Northern and Western Scottish Isles where it is absent.

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