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Long-tailed Tit
Aegithalos caudatus
Size: 13-15cm
UK Status: common resident breader

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A common bird, the long-tailed tit also known as titmice, is a social and energetic bird, mainly of woodland, hedgerows and copses throughout Britain except in the far north
A shy resident but also a confiding bird, in winter migrants coming across from Europe also appear.
At times in winter you can see and hear colonies of a handful or family group of these tiny tits often seen with other small birds
They call to each other and are seldom quiet for long before moving off in search of food.

A pretty little bird, that has a fluffy round body with an untidy appearance, typically 13-15cm in length, half of which is the very long tail.
The tail is black white-edged and several variations exist in body colour, from off white to a light cream with a charcoal back and wings, the light areas are pink-tinged.
Having a black bill and dark reddish hued legs, the head markings are absent in some European birds, and more pronounced in others, typically the head is white in adults and darker in young birds.
British variations have a broad black eye-stripe that extends down the neck onto the back. The dark eyes have a thin orange orbital ring.

Long-tailed tits build their nests in bushes, using moss, wool, feathers and spiders webs to create a deep barrel shaped dome with a tiny side entrance.
A few thousand individual feathers have been counted from a single long-tailed tit nest built low down in bushes, often in brambles.
From one brood 6-12 eggs are laid with incubation taking 14-16 days and fledging in another 15-18 days, a dozen chicks is a typical size of brood.
Often a pair of birds will be helped to raise the young by other non breeding Long Tailed tits.

Insects are the preferred source of food and they can catch them in mid air flying stationary like a humming bird or flycatcher,
some seeds in autumn and winter are taken when insects are hard to find.
Cold winters severely cut the numbers of these birds and they will roost together in an attempt to reduce heat loss,
many individuals can pack into a nest or roosting pouch just like wrens do.

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