A great tit comes for brunch

Great Tit

This hungry great tit is helping itself to some dried meal worms which I’d put out earlier in the year. They will also eat peanuts and sunflower seeds.

As mentioned in my previous post, throughout April and May of 2012  my  bird cam recorded a fair few birds visiting the balcony feeder on an almost daily basis but didn’t record any visits from them whatsoever from June onwards. I assumed that their sudden absence tied in with their need for live food such as caterpillars and beetles ( instead of nuts) for their newly hatched chicks and so would make a welcome return to my feeder, once again, in the colder winter months when food was scarcer.   From October onwards I would eagerly check my bird cam, on a daily basis,  to see if it had snapped any visiting birds only to become increasingly disappointed that no photos had been taken whatsoever.  It was great then to come back from work the other evening and to discover that my bird cam,  for the first time since June last year, had actually captured 4 images.  I was even more delighted to see that the hungry visitor was a great tit – a bird which previously hadn’t been recorded visiting my balcony. Hopefully, it might well have noticed one of the bird boxes I’d attached to the outside of my balcony and decide to raise a family here in  the spring. Fingers crossed!  For more information about great tits, and to hear their songs and calls, check out this page

Great Tit feeding on peanuts

Great tits are renowned for their intelligence and for their agility on feeders, as can be seen on this bag of peanuts which is attached to my home made bird table

On a sadder note, great tits have become increasingly affected by a form of avian pox which is believed to have been introduced by european mosquitoes.It causes unsightly growths on the great tits body, which can then impede their ability to feed and makes them more obvious to potential predators.

This pox, which can’t  be caught by humans, can be fatal to great tits though research has also shown that individual birds can recover from it – which hopefully  means the bird population will eventually build up some degree of immunity to the disease. The most important thing we can do as gardeners is to ensure that we regularly clean out and disinfect our  bird feeders in order to minimize the chances of birds catching diseases from one another. For more information on cleaning feeders have a look at RSPB’s web page here

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