Black Forest Birds – Long-tailed Tit

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The () is a bit different to other true tits, a bit like the Bearded Tit or as it’s now officially called. These tiny birds can be seen from Portugal to Siberia in a variety of forms. I’ve often looked and listened for the bird in North Africa but as yet have never come across any. All the true tits are pretty small, squat passerines that like a variety of woodland and forest habitats. Most of the group including the Long-tailed are resident birds, meaning they stay in their place of birth and don’t migrate.

Long-tailed Tit

Long-tailed Tit

Here’s a photo of a bird with nesting material. See how long the tail is in flight

The Long-tailed Tit would probably be a candidate as Europe’s smalls bird if it weren’t for the long tail!The top photo shows no tail which works quite well with this head-on ‘tennis ball’ appearance.

Long-tailed Tit

One of the more interesting recent observations involving Long-tailed Tits was that they co-operate with other neighbours of the same species in feeding young in the nest when they have lost their eggs or brood to predators or bad weather. This co-operation is not so unusual in the bird world with around 9% of birds show activities of co-operative breeding.

This flies in the face of Charles Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection. Birds that are in some way genetically related of course respond more to this communal helping.The research of this study with Long-tailed Tits was done between 1995 and 2011 in the Rivelin Valley near Sheffield, UK.

Long-tailed Tit

Long-tailed Tit

Long-tailed Tit

Long-tailed Tit

You can read more on this here. On Peter Clark’s blog there are some photos and more links and other interesting info. and photos on the project. Here are some more photos of this lovely bird.

Long-tailed Tit

Stephen Daly

Stephen Daly

, has been birding since he was eight years old in his native Scotland. After living in Germany and France he established Andalucian Guides the successful birding and wildlife tour company on The Strait of Gibraltar in Spain and has been living here since 2001. Photographing birds in flight is one passion and his photos can be found in many books, magazines and journals. Studying bird behaviour and bird migration are two other positive aspects of being based on one of the busiest migration routes on Earth.

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Wai Ling  Liu

beautiful thanks