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The Blue Tit – A Gardener’s Friend.

Bird Watch Thurles

Not to be mistaken for our native Great Tit or Coal Tit; the Blue Tit is to be found widespread here in Co. Tipperary and throughout Ireland.

Its song, often heard before the bird is actually observed, is quite a high-pitched “tsee-hee-he-hee”.  Found in almost all Irish gardens, eating out where nut and seed feeders are located, they can be easily identified by their green back, yellow belly, a blue cap, with blue wings and tail. Their white cheeks display a dark line through the eye area. Its beak is short and stubby and its leg colour is also a bluish-grey.

Music “Puppet on a String”, composed by Phil Coulter / Bill Martin

Surely the monkey of the bird world; the Blue Tit is exceptionally acrobatic, easily hanging upside-down on branches to peck and foraging for insects.  It will often team up with other Tit species and Tree-creepers and are happy to use a nesting box if one is provided and suitably positioned.

The Blue Tit survives mainly on small insects, but also seeds and will readily use peanut feeders and take scraps from bird tables. They make their nests usually in cavities in stone walls or in hollow trees but have been known to make their homes in pipes or damaged letterboxes.

Note: Never feed peanuts to birds during their breeding season as a newly born hatchling can easily choke when being fed by its parents.

Quality nest boxes can be obtained from O’Driscolls Garden Centre, Mill Road, here in Thurles [(0504) 21636], and right now is the time to install same.

Do remember one important fact; the diameter of the hole in a Blue Tit nesting box should be 2.5cm in Diameter, any larger or smaller aperture, will be most often bypassed.

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