The reason why blue tits
do not rush to produce a clutch is because they try to combine the emergence of their chicks with the springtime abundance of caterpillars and other insects.
Volunteer BTO nest recorder Henry Cook is giving Willow Tits
a hand at a site in Denbighshire.
More recently there was a downward trend in Big Garden Birdwatch sightings of the tit
species, thought to be linked to prolonged wet weather in the 2016 breeding season.
With so many factors at play, it is clear great tits
must be particularly astute and observant to eventually succeed in rearing a new generation.
The logs go rotten and provide ideal spots for tits
to dig their nests.
Here in the West Midlands the top W ten species, in descending order, were house sparrow (although this was seen in only just over half of the gardens) wood pigeon (surely heading for number one next year) blue tit
, blackbird, starling, magpie, great tit
, robin, goldfinch and long-tailed tit
The increase in sightings in gardens also highlights the importance of well-stocked bird feeders for some species, with long-tailed tits
only recently starting to use garden feeders, the charity said.
Since 2006, the average number of long-tailed tits
seen in UK gardens has increased by 525, while great tits
numbers have gone up by 135 and coal tits
Other small garden birds saw an increase, including coal tits
, with sightings up by a quarter on 2015's count, and great tits
, which were up almost 15%, the survey showed.
gardEN ToP Almost 13,500 people from West Yorkshire took part in the 37th RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, and sightings of the long-tailed tit
were up 77% on last year.
The researchers found that during warm, dry springs, breeding tits
have a much better chance of surviving to the next year.
The three-year study of blue tits
, which also involved researchers from the University of California Davis, USA and the University of Glasgow, showed that mothers with more UV-reflectant crown feathers did not lay more eggs, but did fledge more offspring than duller females.
Six little blue tits
Perched high upon a twig Puffing out their feathers To make themselves look big Each one of them deciding If it's time to leave the nest So, one by one, into the air Bravely five gave their wings a test But the sixth little blue tit
Gave out a desperate sigh "I haven't got the nerve to jump Mum" Because I don't think I can fly
The ferocious scrap between two blue tits
was screened as part of BBC television's Springwatch Unsprung programme.
Firecrests, blue tits
and long-tailed tits
are the wildlife charity's top sellers, with a tree sparrow card in the second spot.