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  • How to attract blue tits to your garden

How to attract blue tits to your garden

on March 16, 2021

Blue Tits are a wonderful garden bird to have hoping around.  These happy and colourful visitors are one of the more attractive birds we get in the UK.  They are much loved for their cheeky and playful nature, and their trilling chirp and song.  Next to a blackbird or dunnock, they can looking positively exotic!  They can easily be identified as they are the only tit to have a blue wing, tail and head.  Their striking yellow chest can often been seen as they explore the outside.

Thankfully, Blue Tits are very common within Britain and Ireland, with over 2.5 million wild birds being reported.  The only place Blue Tits were not reported are two of the Scottish islands – Shetland and Orkney.  This means attracting these wonderful birds to your garden and feeders is a straight forward job with only a few steps.

If you have not already had the pleasure of seeing a Blue Tit hop around your garden, here is a bit more information about these tiny birds.  They are around 11-12cm in length, and weigh around 12g.  They breed from mid-April and lay eggs in early may, usually around 7-13 eggs.  The male and the females look very similar, although the male bird has brighter colours.  They thrive on a diet of insects, caterpillars, seeds, pollen and berries.

 Blue Tit

Get Blue Tits In Your Garden

As we have learnt, Blue Tits have a varied natural diet, however they do particularly love suet pellets and suet balls.  These can be fed from a bird table, which allows them to keep watch from predators, as well as mix with other species.  Make sure to place feeders away from fences and trees as cats are a major cause of Blue Tit mortality. 

Blue Tits also love peanuts, which are a great source of protein.  They are quite adept at hanging on peanut feeders as all sorts of angles.  Be sure not to feed whole peanuts during nesting season as the large chunks cannot be digested by nestlings.  Peanut granules are a good alternative as they provide the same amount of energy, but are already in small pieces which are easy to swallow.

If you provide suet with mealworms or berries, you will certainly become popular with the local bird life!  They are not that picky about what they eat, so whatever you are able to put out will be welcomed.

If you have a garden and want to make it Blue Tit friendly, try planting Elder or Hawthorn trees.  Blue Tits will feast on these berries in the autumn, so having them in your outside space will see Blue Tits filling the branches from September to December.  You can also try planting a range of wildlife friendly flowers.  The increase in bug life will attract these blue birds, and you’ll get to see them catching bugs all summer long.  Rose bushes and clematis will also see Blue Tits visit, as they hop around the plant eating the aphids for their new young.  You may also see them in and around your vegetable patch searching for caterpillars.  If you grow sunflowers, in late summer you might just catch a Blue Tit hanging from the flower head, nibbling the seeds in a very acrobatic fashion!

As always, it’s important to have a bird bath or somewhere to drink and bath for Blue Tits.  Not only is this vital for a bird’s health and wellbeing, it’s also very entertaining to watch.  A true Win Win.

Blue tits feeding

Nest Boxes for Blue Tits

If you’re looking to attract Blue Tits to nest in your garden, it’s a good idea to provide a closed nest box with a 25mm diameter hole hung high up away from predators.  Blue Tits will readily take to these in early spring, and you may even see Blue Tits ‘making a viewing’ in February.  They are a cavity nester, so premade holes in tree trunks are ideal.  Having the nest boxes available before winter is also a good idea, as Blue Tits can suffer quite badly in cold weather.  They will happily take cover in a nest box in a sheltered, warm place.  You can add some nest material to help keep the Blue Tits warm during a cold snap.

If you do find yourself lucky enough to have a new Blue Tit family in your nest box, it’s worth taking the time to sit and watch the adults keeping busy building the nest, and then feeding any offspring.

If you do get a family of Blue Tits, or any other bird in your nest boxes, remember to clean out and disinfect your bird box in late august, once you’ve checked for any residents.

 

Have you had any success getting Blue Tits into your garden?  Let us know in the comments!

 


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