B31 Long Tailed Tits

£2.05

Description

B31 Long Tailed Tits by Julian Williams

Greeting card with coloured envelope

TEXT written on the back of the card

Long Tailed Tits

Aegithalos caudatus

Long tailed titmice are amongst our smallest birds.  In winter they move from tree to tree in large family groups announcing their arrival with high-pitched, rolling “si-si-si-si-si “ calls and a distinctive trilled ‘tsirrup’. Once you’ve heard their call you’ll always know a flock of long-tailed tits is in the vicinity.  They long tails are used as a counter-balance as they flit–tumble from branch to branch.

When Spring arrives they pair off to build nest balls of wool and moss bound and felted together with spiders webs.  The nests are then lined with feathers and camouflaged with lichen flakes.  Inside the balls a single female lays up to 15 eggs.  If a broods fail, as often happens, the parents move on to help their brothers and sisters raise their extended families of nephews and nieces.

There was a time when every English village would have had its own name for these birds.  Some names referred to their appearance:  Long Toms,  Long-tailed Muffins (Worcestershire), Hedge Mumruffins, Bush Tits, Kitty Long-tails, Fluffits, Juffits, Feather Pokes, Long-tailed Magsor and Millithrums (Miller’s Thumbs). Other names refer to their nests; Oven Birds, Oven Builders (Lothian) and Bush Ovens (Norfolk), Barrel or Bottle Tits (Berkshire) and Bum Barrels (Nottingham

 

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