The growing of the Great Tits

The growing of the Great Tits

The Great Tit. One of the most common birds to greet our gardens up and down the country. It is wonderful to watch the comings and goings of the variety of birds frequenting the bird feeder. It is time to focus on the Great Tit particularly.

From youngsters to adults.

Great Tit on bird feeder

In previous posts we have looked at the fleeting visits of the Wagtails and the wintery lonely Robins. Birds of the tit variety can so often be overlooked for uniqueness with the number of some them and their ever presence at the feeding area.

I find them fascinating to watch as I sit on the front step with a coffee in the morning. Coming and going seemingly non stop back and forth en-masse along with the Blue Tits.

angry bird
great tit with seed

In fact the winter makes this joint feeding venture between Great Tit and Blue Tit come to the fore as they do indeed band together in flocks seeking out food. Summer brings a plentiful amount of food all over the countryside so this is the time they abandon the blue tits and use their size and aggression to boss the bird table for themselves.

feeding on nuts
close up of a Great Tit

Great Tits are much the largest tits and considerably so when you see one next to other kinds. Easy to spot too in colour. Their heads being black with white cheeks and the yellow breasts with the black stripe going down the breast. Difference between male and female? The said black stripe is thicker and goes all the way down to between the legs, the female’s stripe is shorter, thinner and sometimes broken up. Another quaint fact of the Great Tit is that the beak changes subtly for the seasons… In summer longer and thinner for caterpillars, in winter shorter and deeper for seeds.

bird taking off
young Great Tit

I always look forward to Spring, when the little , more fragile, ragged looking young ones come to start feeding. The great tit always seems to be one of the first, it has adapted well over time from being mainly a woodland bird to taking advantage of man made gardens and the food that can produce.

growing up bird
ready to fly garden bird

A classic innocent little songbird don’t you think? However, scientists have found a more sinister side to them in a study done in Hungary. When food of the seed, worm or berry type is unavailable, they have been found to then as a last resort to turn real carnivore, by hunting and eating bats there! You never know, with migrations and time these things could spread.

great tit in the rain

Thanks for joining us in the garden again. More feathery antics soon here I am sure.

Written by Paul Steele

Paul is the founder and Editor of the site. An avid hiker and trekker. Travel, adventure and photography are passions that he combines to make his articles here. Likes to see the positive in everything.

6 Comments

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    • Hi Nick. thanks.. I use the Olympus OM-D EM-5 .. I did a post in the ‘kit section’ here on the site to show how good it is for my travels

  1. Excellent post, Paul. Terrific photos and very interesting commentary about the Great Tits.

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