A tail of two tits

Alright – enough sniggering there at the back!

Titmouse is from Old English meaning small (tit) bird (mase). It is an apt description of one of the most popular British garden birds, the tiny Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus):

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Equally tiny, is the Blue Tit’s distant cousin, the Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus):

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Watching these energetic (constantly on the move) and acrobatic birds in a park in Nottingham was a joy. They have survived a long, cold winter, but many of their numbers will not have been so lucky. It is estimated that up to 80 per cent of all Long-tailed Tits will die in a cold winter.

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6 thoughts on “A tail of two tits

  1. mylatinnotebook

    Yes, I was one of the sniggering ones, can’t even make myself type the word, very juvenile. Love the photos! Coincidentally, we had company for Easter who are much better photographers than we are (not much of a stretch). They snapped away before dinner and caught some great photos of the exact same type of birds. Now that I have seen yours, I’ll have to show you mine….er….you know what I mean!

    Reply
    1. iago80 Post author

      Ha! Great – would love to see the Long-tailed Tit photographs. Maybe we should use the American term, Chickadee, to avoid embarrassment.

      Reply
      1. iago80 Post author

        No. That is a Black-capped Chickadee. The genus, Paridae, is split between tits and chickadees, so they are not completely interchangeable as species, but simply two different generic approaches to naming very similar birds (in other words, they could easily all be called ‘tits’ or ‘chickadees’, but they happen to be split).

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