Bird of the Month - November

Bird of the Month - November

Published: 1st November 2019

Bird of the Month – November – Great Tit

The November ‘Bird of the Month’ is a common garden bird that can be found across the UK, Parus major, more commonly known as the ‘Great Tit’. Though native to parks and woodlands, great tits have adapted keenly to human intervention and are not shy of fighting off competition at bird tables and other garden feeding stations.

Although great tits are the November bird of the month they can be seen throughout the year if provided enough incentive to visit your garden.

Key Information:

Great tits live up to their names and are the largest of the tit family. They will use their size advantage to stake their claim to food and nest boxes, chasing away other tits in gardens and close to food supplies.

Britain has approximately two million breeding pairs of great tits and they are both expanding in range and increasing in abundance. Milder winters, use of nest boxes and feeders mean that they are now considered non- migratory (only leaving if the harvest of conditions present themselves) and mostly do not move far from where they hatch. 

The average great tit will live to approximately three years old.

Breeding: 

Great tit breeding season begins in April/May. A pair can have between six and twelve eggs per clutch and have up to two broods per year. 

Identification: 

Great tits can be identified by the plethora of colours on display. They are green and yellow with a striking glossy black head and white cheeks.

Females have a thin black stripe on their bellies. Males have a broad black stripe on their bellies. The males’ stripe can be an indicator of their status and fatherhood prospects. The wider the stripe, the more attractive the male will be to female suitors.

Voice: 

The double not song of the male great tit is possibly one of the most familiar sounds of spring in the UK countryside. If you’re not familiar with the sound, then click on the play button below for an example. 

Measurements:

The average great tit can grow to an approximate length of 14cm, with an average wingspan of 24cm and weigh approximately 18g.

Nesting: 

Great tits can ordinarily be found in small holes in trees and walls. As such, they’ll happily take advantage of an available nest box if provided the opportunity. 

The female constructs the nest with moss, some grass and other plant fibre. She will cover the base area and the add the nest cup, lining it with fur, wool, hair and other soft materials she may find. 

 

What they eat:

The key ingredients in a great tits diet consist of insects, seeds and nuts.

Suggested products:

Below is a list of items that you can find in Scotsdales stores. These are merely suggestions; we have many other great products available that are suited for great tits dietary requirements. 

Suet packs
Various size ranges available in store (whilst stocks last). Jumbo Suet Cookies are excellent choices for anyone with limited space in their gardens. Each cookie can be hung without the need for additional bird feeder apparatus. Simply find a hook or a tree branch and let the birds come to you. 

We recommend the Gardman ready to feed Jumbo Suet Cookie – £3.99. Available in all stores (whilst stocks last).

Suet Balls
Scotsdales offers various options and product sizes ranging from 4 packs all the way up to 50 pack tubs from leading brands such as Gardman. Fat balls can be used for great tits and a plethora of other common garden birds such as robins and blue tits. 

We recommend the Gardman Supreme Fat Snax Suet Balls – 50 Tub – £12.99 (product code: 384257). Available in all stores (whilst stocks last).

Peanuts
Peanuts provide a high protein option to help birds keep their energy levels high.

We recommend the Gardman Peanuts – 2kg +25% free pack – £7.99. Available in all stores (whilst stocks last).

Bird Safety:

Please remember, that one of the commonest problems with local wildlife health issues in the UK is due to neglected and dirty feeders. We would like to ask that anyone wishing to assist in the feeding of wild birds makes sure to check and clean feeders regularly to help keep them safe and healthy. 

Looking for further advice?

Then why not pop into your local Scotsdales store today and speak with a  member of our knowledgeable team. We will be happy to assist in anyway we can with advice and guidance regarding the best options for birds in your garden.