Great tit

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Great tit

Great tit with caterpillar

Great tit with caterpillar

The Great tit is a larger cousin of the blue tit and definitely higher in the pecking order as it will soon see off its lesser cousin at the bird feeder. They feed on seeds, insects like aphids and other pests, spiders and caterpillars when there are no humans kind enough to put out peanuts and fat. The Great tit has similar colouring to the Blue tit but with different patterns. One of the most striking differences is the large white cheek patch. It also has a black band down the centre of its body running from the chin to the rump. This band is narrower on the female than the male, other than this they are difficult to tell apart. Great tits like their smaller cousins the Blue tit are hole nesters and will find a suitable hole in a tree or wall but will also be quite willing to nest in a box placed in a suitable place out of the reach of cats in your garden. They usually lay between four and seven eggs but sometimes more. The eggs are white with reddish spots and laid in a nest made of moss, hair, grass and feathers. When the chicks leave the nest they stay together for a while then will become more independent and find their own way. They can be distinguished from the adults by their more yellow appearance. Most of them will perish in the winter if the weather is harsh. It is very important to put out food and water for birds in winter and once you have started to feed them don’t suddenly stop because they will be dependent on your supply of food an most likely die if suddenly it disappears.




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