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Blue Tit

Blue Tit
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paridae
Genus: Parus
Species: caeruleus
Binomial name
Parus caeruleus
The Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus , sometimes Cyanistes caeruleus , is a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. It is a widespread and common resident breeder throughout temperate and subarctic Europe and western Asia in deciduous or mixed woodlands.. It is resident, and most birds do not migrate.

The azure blue crown and dark blue line passing through the eye and encircling the white cheeks to the chin, give the Blue Tit a very distinctive appearance. The forehead, eyestreak, and a bar on the wing are also white. The nape, wings and tail are blue; the back is yellowish green; the under parts mostly sulphur-yellow with a dark line down the abdomen. The bill is black, the legs bluish grey, and the irides dark brown. The young are much yellower than the old birds.

This is a common and popular European garden bird, due to its perky acrobatic performances when feeding on nuts or suet. It swings beneath the holder, calling "tee, tee, tee" or a scolding "churr".

The song period lasts almost all the year round, but it is only from January until June that its rippling simple tinkle is heard frequently.

It will nest in any suitable hole in a tree, wall, or stump, or an artificial nest box, often competing with House Sparrows or Great Tits for the site. Few birds more readily accept the shelter of a nesting box; the same hole is returned to year after year, and when one pair dies another takes possession.

The bird is a close sitter, hissing and biting at an intruding finger. When protecting its eggs it raises its crest, but this is a sign of excitement rather than anger, for it is also elevated during nuptial display. The nesting material is usually moss, wool, hair and feathers, and the eggs are laid in April or May. The number in the clutch is often very large, but seven or eight are normal, and bigger clutches are usually laid by two or even more hens.

Blues and Greats form mixed winter flocks, and the former are perhaps the better gymnasts in the slender twigs. A Blue will often ascend a trunk in short jerky hops, imitating a Treecreeper. As a rule the bird roosts in ivy or evergreens, but in hard weather will shelter in a hole.

The Blue Tit is a valuable destroyer of pests, though it has not an entirely clean sheet as a beneficial species. It is fond of young buds of various trees, and may pull them to bits in the hope of finding insects. No species, however, destroys more coccids and aphids, the worst foes of many plants. It takes leaf miner grubs and green tortrix moths. Seeds are eaten, as with all this family.



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