The Blue Tit – a Welcome Guest in Norwegian Gardens

Finally, summer is here and many Norwegians spend much time in their gardens – often with pleasant company of Blue Tits that have built nests in trees, nest boxes and air leaks. Not only is the blue tit beautiful, but also a valuable destroyer of pests.

(article continues below image)Herr.Bl.meis resizeBlue tits, usually resident and non-migratory birds are widespread and a common resident breeder throughout Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. The main rival for nests and search for food is the much larger Great Tit.

The Blue Tit is usually about 12 cm (4.7 in) long with a wingspan of 18 cm (7.1 in) for all genders, and weighs about 11 grams (0.39 oz).

A typical Blue Tit has an azure blue crown and dark blue line passing through the eye, and encircling the white cheeks to the chin, giving the bird a very distinctive appearance. The forehead and a bar on the wing are white. The nape, wings and tail are blue and the back is yellowish green. The under part is mostly sulfur-yellow with a dark line down the abdomen – the yellowness is indicative of the number of yellowy-green caterpillars eaten, due to high levels of carotene pigments in the diet. The bill is black, the legs bluish grey, and the irides dark brown. To the human eye the sexes are similar, but the Blue Tit is able to see ultraviolet light, and males have a brighter blue crown. Young Blue Tits are noticeably more yellow.

The Blue Tit prefers insects and spiders for their diet. Outside the breeding season, they also eat seeds and other vegetable-based foods. Blue tits are famed for their skill, as they can cling to the outermost branches and hang upside down when looking for food.

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.

 

 

Text by: Ester Jepsen, ThorNews

Photo by: ThorNews

Source: Wikipedia

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Categories: Nature

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