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Aegithalos caudatus - Long-tailed Tit

Phylum: Chordata - Class: Aves - Order: Charadriiformes - Family: Scolopacidae

Aegithalos caudatus, Long-tailed Tit with a cranefly

A shy bird of hedgerows and copses, the long-tailed tit is a very social bird. At times in winter you will see and hear colonies of two or three dozen of these tiny tits, with their disproportionately long white-edged tails, working their way along the edge of a wood, searching for insects. They are noisy, energetic birds. Insects are the main source of food for these resident 'titmice', as the members of this family were once most commonly called.

Long-tailed Tit, by David Adamson

The pink-tinged body of this pretty little bird has a fluffy, somewhat untidy look about it - male and female being very similar in appearance, 15cm long and with a typical wingspan of 18cm. (There is also a northern race of Long-tailed Tits with all-white heads.)

Long-tailed Tits build their nests in bushes, using moss, wool, feathers and spiders' webs to create a deep dome with a tiny side entrance. As many as two thousand individual feathers have been counted from one long-tailed tit nest.

Long-tailed Tit on nut feeder

Long-tailed Tits will come to nut feeder's in quiet rural and suburban gardens

A dozen chicks is a typical brood. Early nests, built before the leaves are fully out, are often robbed by jays and magpies.

Long-tailed Tit, CCW

Acknowledgements

This page includes pictures kindly contributed by David Adamsom, the Countryside Council for Wales, and Melvin Grey.


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