Few garden birds are more exquisite than the Long-Tailed Tit. But for their disproportionately long tails, which slightly exceed the length of the rest of their bodies, these birds are truly tiny. At 9g they weigh less than a £1 coin.
Long-tailed tit. (Aegithalos Caudatus). So named for a tail longer than its body, the tiny long-tailed tit is a delightful visitor to any garden. These highly gregarious birds are a visual treat with their black, white and pinkish plumage, red eye rings and small black beaks.
DID YOU KNOW :
Long-tailed tits live short lives of only 2 to 3 years.
The Long-tailed tit is one of the smallest garden birds in the UK. If not for its extensively long tail, the most characteristic part of the bird, it would be tiny and measure just 6cm in length.
Long-tailed tits have one of the highest nest failure rates among garden bird species. However, despite this disconcerting fact, it is interesting to observe that Long-tailed tits have a habit of not re-nesting. Instead, they will become what are known as “Helpers”; supporters of a nest or other pair of birds, a behaviour known as co-operative breeding. (Approximately 50% of nests have one or more helpers). This altruistic behaviour pertains to a fitness advantage, particularly if it is related to offspring that is supported by the helper. In a future scenario, the helper can use its experience supporting a particular nest for its own offspring in the next season.
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