Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The long and the short of it




A tiny round bird with a long narrow tail, rather short rounded wings and a stubby bill. The Long-tailed Tit is pinkish brown above and pinkish white below, ` a ball of fluff ` and quite possibly one of the U.K.`s most adorable birds. We are lucky in that we have had up to four of these little birds visiting our garden in Peterborough for the past few months and they show no signs of stopping with Spring arriving .

They start to make their nests in late March which are made from moss, lichen and are bound together with cobwebs. They are lined with lots of feathers. The nest is almost ` elastic ` in construction and expands when the young inside grow. Some adults that have failed to rear their young to fledging can help feed a neighbouring family, this is most common amongst the male birds.

A lovely little bird that my wife calls ` Badger birds `.

50 comments:

  1. Great bird shots and great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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    1. Hi Gary,
      Thank you for those kind words.
      J

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  2. My favourite little bird to see John.. I see them often in my little garden and I can't remember the last time I didn't see them on my walks... Cheshire is a LtT hotspot...

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    1. Hi Andrew,
      They are lovely little birds and seem to be becoming more common, or is that me just noticing them more?!
      J

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  3. Great photos. it looks like a very cute little bird.

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    1. Hi Mick,
      Thank you, an adorable bird indeed.
      J

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  4. What cuties! Thanks for sharing the info. Wonderful captures!

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    1. Hi Eileen,
      Thank you, too kind.
      J

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  5. So sweet! This is another new bird to me :)

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    1. Hi fjallripan,
      There are a lot of birds out there, 99% would be new to me!
      J

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  6. Aw, they really look adorable! :)

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    1. Hi Ekaterina,
      There is something about the Long-tailed Tit that endears them to us humans.
      J

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  7. lovely to see; sweet little bird

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    1. Thank you for your visit Carol and your kind comment.
      J

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  8. Cute and talented little fella! They seem to have mastered the talent of nest building.

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    1. Hi Wanda,
      A Long-tailed Tit nest is a work of art, very strong, but extremely flexible.
      J

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  9. Hi John...I just love these adorable sweet ball's of fluff...
    Lucky you to be able to see them in your own back yard!
    Interesting that they help feed other families..that makes them even sweetier!!
    Grace

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    1. Hi Grace,
      That is quite interesting about how they `help` other families, they obviously are interested in the survival of the species?.
      J

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    1. Thank you Wren, for your visit and your kind comment.
      J

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  11. Wonderful photographs, as always. I thought of you the other day out looking for signs of birds-in-spring at Buttercup Farm. Ran into a bona fide bird watcher from the local club on the prowl for tree swallows (as they've been seen earlier than usual here). I felt pretty proud to spot one for him. He knew a lot, and thanks to him, I know better how to look for green-winged teal. We also spotted a first for me, and without him I wouldn't have known what it was: a hooded merganser. I knew merganser, but I didn't know that. Praised be the birdwatchers!

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    1. Hi Susan,
      Thank you. A bona fide birdwatcher, that`s a new one on me! ;)
      We do get Green-winged Teal here, but they are a bit of a rarity, although I am humble enough to say that I have `found` 2 of these birds at my local (Maxey) in previous years. Hooded Mergansers are classed as `megas` here, very popular in wildfowl collections, so when one does appear, it is normally thought to be an escapee.
      J

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    2. Oh, my I have gotten behind again, but I did want to say I consider you to have full and complete "bona fides" as a birdwatcher, which is why I thought of you when I met the fellow at Buttercup. (By the way, I left earlier than he, wrote my birds sightings on the paper the Audubon Society leaves for that purpose. A week later, I returned to find his list of sightings by the time he left--three times as long!)

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    3. That`s always the way Susan, I have often left somewhere just before something fantastic turns up!
      J

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  12. John, I am growing more and more fond of these little beauties, as several are sharing them on their blogs. They have such sweet faces!

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    1. Hi MAry,
      They are lovely little birds, very photogenic, which is why people love to photograph them, I suppose.
      J

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  13. They really are sweet little birds. I love the way they all swoop in like a posse of little fairies chattering all the time and then just as quickly disappear again :-)

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    1. Hi Jan,
      Yes, you tend to hear them long before you see them, in my experience, anyway :)
      J

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  14. Excellent post John, perfect pictures to illustrate your interesting text! Awesome!

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    1. Hi Springman,
      Thank you, very kind words.
      J

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  15. Wonderful photos of this adorable bird! It really does have a very long tail!

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    1. Hi Tammy,
      Thank you. The tail is extremely long, they have to fold it over their back in order to get into their nest hole.
      J

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  16. Lovely little bird to watch!

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    1. Hi joo,
      They are indeed, always on the go.
      J

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  17. Adorable is an understatement! Great shots.

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  18. These little birds visit our garden too and captivate me everytime I manage to spot one in the hedge or at the feeder. They must be one of the most beautiful of garden birds.

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    1. Hi cuby poet,
      They are certainly very deserving of your attention, a lovely little bird.
      J

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  19. Not a regular visitor to our garden but there have been a few visits over the past three months. I enjoy the company of the 'Bottle Tits' during my regular patch walks. Lovely series of pics John.

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    1. Thanks Frank. They tend not to visit in the summer months, but I wait to see if they continue this year. I noticed the local name of `Bottle Tits` in a book, I did wonder, why the name `Bottle`?
      J

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  20. Hi John. I am delighted to see that this blog is beginning to get the huge numbers of visitors that it deserves. This little bird is a delight!
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Hi Bazza,
      Thank you, my friend! And to think it all started from that award from TBFKNA ( for you and me, anyway! )
      J

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  21. A lovely visitor to have in the garden. With their rotund shape I always think of them as feathered versions of Humpty Dumpty.

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    1. Hi John,
      Yes, it is always a thrill to see them, even if it is for a split second sometimes! I hope they don`t sit on too many walls and have a big fall ;)
      J

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  22. Lovely images of this sweet little bird John. I have certainly observed one pair in FM collecting nest material.

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    1. Thanks Roy, I have yet to see the pair that visit the garden with any nesting material, but then again, they are probably just coming to me for a feed!
      J

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