27th March 2018

Long Tailed Tits need around 2,500 feathers for each nest they build, so, as usual I put some from an old pillow case out this morning and Lynn captured these photos of a pair helping themselves while I was visiting Sian this afternoon. It is great fun to watch them and you help them in their difficult quest for nesting material. Conditions: Rain followed by cloud. Temperature: Max 10 min 3C.

Long Tailed Tits collecting feathers for their nest

Feathers put out for Long Tailed Tits

A bill-full of feathers

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1st March 2018

On the first day of spring, birds are having to feed-up in blizzard conditions and minus temperatures, like these Long-tailed Tits, which huddle together in large groups to get through freezing nights and then benefit from high-energy fats during daylight hours. Conditions: freezing snow showers and gusty winds. Temperature: -2 c day and night.

20th February 2017

Helping Long-Tailed Tits, which start making their nests early. Astonishingly, they need 1,500- 2,500 downy feathers to line every nest. If you can get hold of any feathers, put them out in a feeder or net with small enough mesh to contain them and big enough for the Long-tailed Tits to collect them. As well as helping them, it is fun watching them gathering as many as they can at once, as these photo’s in our garden show. Condition: Mild and cloudy. Temperature: Max 12- Min 8C.

Long Tailed Tits

Long Tailed Tits

Long Tailed Tit

Long Tailed Tit

Long Tailed Tit

Long Tailed Tit

27th January 2016

I’m about to go down south again so I’m posting a few recent shots of the lovely Long Tailed Tits, showing their gorgeous markings. Historically, these birds didn’t visit garden feeders but the fat and high energy foods put out can be vital for their winter survival. Being such small birds they are very vulnerable to cold weather. Like Wrens, they huddle together at night to help keep warm. With such small round bodies and long tails, some call them ‘flying teaspoons’, while I like the older  ‘Bumbarrels’. They begin to nest earlier than other Tits so will start to pair up in February or early March but right now they are still in large, family groups. Conditions: Showers and blustery winds. Temperature: Max 13- Min 2c

Long Tailed Tit

Long Tailed Tit

Long Tailed Tit

Long Tailed Tit

Long Tailed Tit

Long Tailed Tit

Long Tailed Tit

Long Tailed Tit