Blue tit

©Dave Kilbey

Blue tit

Scientific name: Cyanistes caeruleus
A familiar garden bird, the blue tit can be seen around bird tables and feeders, as well as in woodlands and parks. Listen out for its trilling, 'tsee-tsee-tsee' song. It is smaller than the great tit.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 12cm
Wingspan: 18cm
Weight: 11g
Average lifespan: 3 years

Conservation status

Common. Classified in the UK as Green under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015).

When to see

January to December

About

Smaller than the great tit, the blue tit is also a bird of woodland, parks and gardens. It nests in holes in trees, but is just as happy to use nestboxes. Blue tits are active feeders, hunting out insects and spiders among the smaller branches and leaves of trees in woodlands. But they are also well-adapted to gardens and towns and will visit birdtables and peanut feeders; they are even famed for breaking the tops of milk bottles and taking the creamy top off the milk. In winter, they will form flocks with other tits, roaming the countryside and visiting gardens in groups. Blue tits have a trilling, 'tsee-tsee-tsee' song.

How to identify

The blue tit is a colourful little bird with a blue cap, white cheeks, black eyestripes, a greeny-blue back, yellow belly, and blue wings and tail.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Like most birds, blue tits can see ultra-violet (UV) light. Studies have shown that the blue crown on their heads glows brightly under UV light. The brightness of the feathers is thought to provide a variety of signals; for instance, male blue tits have been shown to choose females with brightly coloured crowns as they make fitter mothers.

How people can help

Whether you live in town or country, you can help to look after garden birds by providing food and water for them. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit the wildlife gardening section of the website, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started. To buy bird food, feeders and other wildlife products, visit the Vine House Farm website (www.vinehousefarm.co.uk) - an award-winning wildlife-friendly farm that gives 4% of every sale plus £10 commission for each new customer to The Wildlife Trusts.