Nature Blog: blue tits and bird feeders

 

Those of you who regularly feed birds – especially if you put out peanuts – must have sometimes wondered if the Avian population is in danger of being completely over-run with Blue Tits. As far as bird tables go they definitely seem to far out number most other species. In fact there are probably more of them visiting your feeders than you realise – if you multiply the number you see at any one time on or around the feeders by five that is the likely number in total that are visiting in rotation. So if there are half a dozen or so, then you have about 25 – 30 regularly visiting through the day.

I sometimes wonder how they arrive so quickly as soon as you put out some food – the Cabin’s feeders had been empty for a few days and the birds were notable by their absence – but within seconds of refilling them, the first couple of Tits had appeared as if they had been hiding nearby in waiting.

They actually come around fifth or sixth in the list of Britain’s commonest birds (depending on which survey you look at) first place being taken, I always find rather surprisingly, by the Wren, but then Wrens can be very unobtrusive little birds often heard more than seen. You can hear their jaunty, warbling and trilling song most mornings in the undergrowth down by the recycling bins in the car park at CAT. Incidentally, any nest boxes you may have around the place really should have been emptied of old nesting materials and cleaned out by now, but there is still time to do it before the early breeders start home hunting in earnest.