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Long-Tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

Feeding
The Long-Tailed Tit is black and white with pinkish shoulders and under parts. Its head is black with a white crown and black marks above the eyes, and a tiny, stubby black bill. As the name indicates the tail is much bigger than the body and is very noticeable during the tit’s flight. Both sexes look similar as do juveniles, except they are shorter and darker in colour.
Nesting
Long-Tailed Tits live in woods, hedgerows and commons where there are suitable bushes for nesting. They make the most intricate and delicate of all bird’s nests spending three weeks creating their luxury home. The construction begins with a cup shaped dome made of moss and stuck together with cobwebs to give it elasticity which allows the nest to expand and accommodate up to twelve chicks! Then they collect lichens from walls and rocks and place them on the outside of the nest for camouflage. Finally, they fill their cosy retreat with feathers for warmth and softness. They can use up to 2000 feathers in each nest, and in their effort to collect all the various materials will fly between 600-700 miles! They produce one or two broods of 8-12 whitish eggs which incubate for 13-18 days. If the pair’s breeding attempt fails they will return to the nest of a sibling to help raise the chicks. Long-Tailed Tits are territorial in breeding season but after this they form small, sociable flocks of about ten birds, consisting of parents and offspring. This flock unites in the search for food and also roosts communally, huddling together for warmth.
About
Long-Tailed Tits enjoy insects and spiders, but in winter when these foods are scarce they choose seeds. They sometimes come to gardens in winter but are rarely seen at feeding tables, preferring seed feeders.
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