Birds

Blue tit bird-tit

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Common, blue or green azure is a small tit with a rich bluish-yellow plumage. The bird is widespread in the subarctic and temperate zones of North-West Africa, Western Asia and Europe. It lives in the wild mainly in mixed and deciduous forests, especially in birch and oak. Perfectly adapts to the cultivated landscapes and often settles in parks and gardens, where it can be found near the feeders. Often forms urban populations in Europe. The bird is not shy and easily lets people close to him.

During reproduction it feeds mainly on animal feed: spiders and insects. In winter and autumn, plant foods, such as seeds, form part of its diet. Nests in hollows, as well as in artificial dumb.

A little tit with a short short beak and a short tail is all a blue tit. Detailed information about it is presented in the article below. The size is much inferior to a big tit, while a little larger than a trowel - its body length is about 12 cm and weighs 14 g. pass through the eyes, closing on the back of his head. The second dark blue strip goes around the neck, thereby forming a collar-like look.

The forehead and cheeks are white, the tail, wings and neck are bluish-blue. As a rule, the back is olive-green, but may have different shades, depending on the habitat. The bottom of the bird is greenish-yellow, in the lower part there is a small longitudinal dark stripe. Gray-gray legs, black beak.

In Europe, the azure tit is found in almost all countries, but is absent in the north of Scotland, in Iceland, in the Balkans and the highlands of the Alps, in the northern parts of Russia and the Scandinavian Peninsula. Until 1963 she lived in the Outer Hebrides.

Lifestyle: blue tit

In the central and southern areas of the range, they are settled, while in the winter time in the north they migrate to the west and south. In addition, vertical flights in the mountains are possible. Irregular migrations and depend largely on weather conditions and availability of feed. In addition, non-puberty young birds are more prone to movement than adults.

During the breeding season, they are always kept in pairs, mostly huddling together in mixed flocks with long-tailed and big tits, common pikas and yellow-headed kings. At the same time, the azures among them are distinguished by different rolls on very thin branches.

Breeding

Like the main number of small birds, in the azure tree, sexual maturity begins one year after birth. The breeding season in birds occurs at the end of spring, but mixed flocks of tits start to disintegrate in mid-January, after which they wake up their territorial instincts.

The female in the middle of April proceeds independently to the construction of her nest. It is usually located in the hollows and hollows of a tree, very often with a narrow opening and very high from the ground. Periodically, the azure tit uses old nests of other birds.

Most of the season she has 2 clutches, but in some regions (in Germany, Great Britain, Morocco, and also in Corsica) eggs are laid only once. Usually the first clutch is at the beginning of May, the next - at the 2nd half of June. The number of eggs depends on the maximum number and biotope.

The main part of the bird's diet is animal food. Most of them are small insects, reaching a length of 1 cm, their larvae, in addition, arachnids. A set of feed can vary, depending on their availability in the area at a given time. At the very beginning of the breeding season, when all the trees are just beginning to be covered with greenery and the caterpillars are either absent or they are very small, spiders make up the bulk of its prey. In the event that the mass of the caterpillars increases, the azure titus quickly switches to this type of prey.

In large quantities, various forest pests are destroyed by the bird, among which are the hairy silkworm caterpillars, in addition, bugs, aphids, and the rest of the hemiptera. The larvae of sawflies and the caterpillar of butterflies are readily consumed in food. Various flying insects are caught (wasps, flies, retina-winged), ants, beetles, seedlings, and various centipedes.

Subspecies and Systematics

The common blue tit in 1758 was scientifically described by the famous Carl Linnaeus in the tenth book of his "Systems of Nature". At that moment this species was given the name Parus caeruleus, and the birds belonged to the titmouse. The name Cyanistes was then designated a subgenus, into which many species with similar morphological characteristics were combined. This classification is currently used by a number of specialists, including Russian ones.

Where it lives

Azure trees feel very good in almost all the deciduous and mixed forests of Central Europe. In coniferous forests, which are less suitable for their existence, birds appear rather rarely. Blue tit also dwell in many urban gardens and parks. In spring and summer, they leave young forests, where the trees are too thin so that you can find the necessary nesting hollow in them. However, in autumn and winter birds can be found both in old and in young forests, bushes and reed beds. During this period, tit titmouse often coalesce into common flocks with other types of titmouse. Together, the birds wander through the forests in search of food. Being in large flocks, these tits are better protected from enemies, for example, from the sparrowing hawk.

WHAT EATS

In the summer of azureworms feed on insects, which are collected on the leaves of trees, for example, oak. They also hunt spiders, moths, aphids and other pests. During the feeding of chicks, titmouse prey becomes a large number of eggs of butterflies, caterpillars or larvae, which azure tit find on trees and bushes. Eating a lot of pests (for example, shaggy caterpillars of an unpaired silkworm, weevils), blue tit, like other species of tits, brings great benefits to gardeners. In autumn, the birds feed on wild elder, beech nuts and rosehips. In winter, in addition to nuts and various fats, azure trees also eat seeds. They love sunflower seeds, poppy seeds and hazelnuts. In the harsh winters, an azure looking for insects will examine the bark of trees. In the spring they should not be fed.

Reproduction

Early in spring, and in some southern areas back in February, azureas begin to look for a hollow, convenient for constructing a nest. Ideal are small holes or narrow crevices in trees located at a height of not more than 15 m, or abandoned hollows of small woodpeckers. When the male finds a suitable place, he invites the female to him with quick movements of the wings and shouts. Then he slips inside and then invites her friend, confident that she will accept this accommodation. The female often rejects several places before deciding that she has found what she needs. The nest she builds herself. The bird brings into the hollow a lot of moss, dry grass and other material. She presses the blade of grass with her breast and presses it against the edges, until she gives the nest a cup. At the end, the female lines the nest tray with feathers. Blue tit lay 7-13 white with red or brown spots of eggs. During the laying and incubation of eggs, the male protects the nesting area and food sources.

INTERESTING FACTS, INFORMATION.

  • In winter, blue tit make raids on feeders. In one day, up to 200 tits, which peck at the nuts, often fly up to the grid of nuts hanging in the garden.
  • In England, tit of the blue tit, who peck at everything they can find, reached the cream under the lid of foil on milk bottles, which the milkmen used to leave at the door. Since then, the birds have enjoyed the cream, until the tradition of delivering milk to their homes has finally disappeared.
  • Sometimes azurewees whip up window putty or fly into the room and tear off pieces of wallpaper, which are then lined with nests.
  • Azureas nest in hollows, the entrance diameter of which does not exceed 3.5 cm. However, a nest with eggs, chicks and a female often empties a weasel.

SYNITA LAZOREVKA. DESCRIPTION AND APPEARANCE

Adult males and females are colored the same, only males can be slightly lighter. The feathers of young birds also differ little in color from the feathers of adult azure, however, they are not so shiny. Blue tit with the help of strong paws and claws can hang even on thin branches, pecking caterpillars from them. Because of this, they can also peck off the fat and seed food that people hang for them in the trees. The female lays 7-13 white with reddish-brown specks of eggs (one per day). The two-week incubation period begins only after the last egg has been laid. The nests of the blue tit are built in the hollows of trees of moss and grass, after which they are lined with a soft feather.


- Habitat habitat

Where it lives

Blue tit is found almost throughout Europe - in the woods and next to human habitation. The boundaries of the area are to the south of Scandinavia, to the west of Moscow and capture part of North Africa.

PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION

The azure population has declined in the last 40 years due to deforestation. Despite this, there is no immediate threat of species extinction.

What does a bird look like

Blue tit is very similar to the common bird, which is easily recognized by every city dweller. Looking closely, you can see that the cap and wings of a tit are black with a blue tint. Blue tit feathers are painted in a rich azure color. Hence the name of the bird.

Blue tit, like all passerine, do not differ in large size. They grow up to 12 cm in length. Weigh no more than 15 grams. Coloring birds attracts attention:

  • greenish-yellow belly, with a dark stripe running along it,
  • azure cap,
  • bright blue arrows extending from the thin beak,
  • white cheeks
  • azure feathers around the neck, resembling a collar,
  • the tail and wings are blue-blue,
  • soft green back
  • black beak
  • blue-gray legs.

Depending on the habitat, the color of the representatives of this order of the titanic is slightly different. Males, as a rule, have a brighter and more contrasting color. Feathers of females and young birds do not differ saturation. The young ones do not have a bright blue hat, the color of feathers is grayish or brown.

The closest relative of the bird is the white azure (sometimes called the prince), which is easy to distinguish by color: white cap, bluish-white plumage. These birds differ in character. The latter is cautious, leads a sedentary and more secretive way of life, especially during the breeding of offspring.

Blue Tit - very mobile representatives of the blue-tit family, with a cocky character. Little birds will not miss the opportunity to engage in a fight with their relatives, to win a place for the nest. Especially vividly warlike character traits appear in males in the mating season.

Like all tits, azureas are very curious, but careful, they are afraid to let a person close, but they can easily tame food. These are songbirds. Their distinguishing feature is a very rich repertoire. A ringing voice, like a bell.

Azure Lifestyles and Habitat

Blue tit is a very common species. In the wild, they live in deciduous or mixed forests, in the city they prefer the north, gardens, parks. Birds adapt well to changing conditions. There are cases where azure nests were found even on poles.

The habitats are extensive:

  • Europe (except Iceland),
  • Russia (up to the Urals, is rare in Siberia),
  • Africa (North-West),
  • Asia,
  • Canary Islands (due to the characteristics of behavior and color sometimes stand out in a separate species).

As you can see, azurerians adapt very well to different climatic conditions. Feel good in the subtropics, and in more severe environmental conditions.

In the wild, azure trees prefer to settle in oak or birch forests, in small groves. Although sometimes there are exceptions. Some populations live in places atypical for this species:

  • cedar forests in Siberia,
  • deciduous forests in Africa
  • palm trees in the southern regions,
  • forest belts within the city.

In areas with a dry climate and occasional rain, the azure tree prefers to settle near water bodies - in floodplains of rivers or reed thickets near lakes. This is especially characteristic of the azure tit.

A sedentary lifestyle is characteristic of the species. In the north, populations migrate to warmer areas, south or west, in search of affordable food and better weather conditions. Interestingly, young individuals are more prone to movement. Often the cause of bird migration is massive deforestation. In search of affordable food, birds often live near humans. Seeds and fat in the feeders of city parks and public gardens are a welcome treat for birds.

In the natural environment, birds prefer to eat insects. This determines the choice of habitat. In deciduous forests with old trees there are always enough larvae and other food. Usually azureas eat:

Blue Tit - a faithful assistant gardener. The bird eats pests that often become a real scourge for summer residents. If in the summer to find food is not difficult, then in winter the birds have a hard time. In the cold season, the birds feed on the seeds of conifers and deciduous plants, making great flights in search of food. First, they examine the crown of trees and rarely look for fallen seeds on the ground.

Sustenance

78 percent of the blue tit menu consists of bugs and spiders of small size (up to 1 cm), and their larvae. The diet varies depending on location and season of the year. In the spring, when trees begin to bloom, the blue tit feeds mainly on spiders. Then the caterpillars begin to appear, they also go to feed (especially when the caterpillars become fat, large and juicy). More precisely, the caterpillars and become the main menu. and spiders fade into the background. Blue Tit - a relentless pest control forest. It is a great deal of trouble for aphids, caterpillars, bedbugs and other small bugs. "On the table" go and flying insects - flies, mosquitoes, wasps, beetles, centipedes.

Video "Blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) sings"

In the autumn the bird switches to plant food. Insects are already hibernating, and the bird eats plant seeds (pine, spruce, birch, maple, oak, cypress, and others).

And of course, on the imu azureas fly closer to the man. After all, here you can eat or just not die of hunger. They eat seeds, nuts, pieces of food. Any food that is fed by a person. Often, the blue tit, along with tits, has sunflower seeds from the feeders and pieces of bread, lard, pecks on the balcony wrapped dried fruit.

Material author: Margarita Olegusna Samusik

Appearance of azure tit

Judging by the appearance, then the azure is very similar to its fellow tit. The only differences that clearly indicate that this is another bird - a thin small beak and a short tail.

They also differ in size: the body length of an azure titus usually does not exceed 12 cm, and the weight of an adult bird rarely exceeds 15 grams.

The body has a characteristic color, peculiar only to this breed of blue tits - there is a blue-azure cap on the head, as well as dark blue characteristic stripes on the sides of the beak. These bands run through the eyes and unite at the back of the head, forming a semblance of a thin mask. Another strip of the same color runs down the neck, and resembles a thin collar.

On the forehead and cheeks of the bird white spots are clearly visible, while the back is of a marsh green color, and the intensity of this color strongly depends on the specific habitat. The abdomen is yellowish, with a small but clearly visible dark longitudinal stripe. The beak is usually black, and the legs are gray, of various shades.

Common blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus).

In chicks, the color is less pronounced than in adults - the blue “cap” is missing, the colors are faded and dull, all bands are of an implicit gray color, and the belly is greenish. With age, the bird is gaining the right color.

Habitat azureas habitat

In the European part of the continent, the azure is found almost everywhere, excluding Iceland, the northern regions of Scotland, as well as the north of Russia and Scandinavia. In Norway, this bird is spread up to 67 parallels, and in Finland - up to 65.

In the west of Russia, the border of the range passes along the Karelian Isthmus, but then shifts further south - towards Bashkiria. As for the eastern boundary of the range, it is quite variable due to climate fluctuations. Rarely is this breed of bird found in southern Siberia. Towards the south, azures are found in the Canaries, in North Africa, in Asia, up to the north of Iran and Iraq.

Females are practically indistinguishable from males: the only thing by which they can be distinguished is the brightness of the color, because the males are painted more variegated.

Lifestyles azureas common

Так как ареал обитания весьма широк, то лазоревки приспособились проживать как в редких лесополосах, так и в густых лиственных лесах. Иногда их можно встретить и в смешанном лесу, где из лиственных деревьев представлены в основном дуб и береза.

Также эти птицы любят поймы рек, и нередко заселяют даже небольшие рощи по берегам водоемов. Совершенно не сторонятся человека, и потому живут в парках и посадках городов и сел. However, it is worth noting that the forage base of the blue tit is tied to the old trees, which means that the older the plantation, the higher the likelihood that the azure tit will settle there.

In the highlands, these birds rarely rise above 1,700 meters, with the exception of the Caucasus - there these birds were met at altitudes of 3,500 meters above sea level. In other territories, life often settles, but nevertheless wanders closer to the north - this bird does not tolerate cold weather, and is forced to move to the south, to warmer areas. Migration can also be associated with a small amount of food, and then these birds move to another place, but usually not far away. Often gather in large flocks, but during breeding periods they are held in pairs.

During the year, green azures migrate in height, moving lower with the onset of cold weather.

Nutrition of the Blue Tit

The usual diet of azure tit is 70-80% of animal food. Depending on the nesting site, the type of live food can vary from the larvae of a variety of insects to arachnids and flying insects. Pupae of moths, spiders, flies, mosquitoes, aphids, caterpillars of various species go to feed. The only limit is the size of the prey. Insects are usually eaten up to 1 cm. In length.

Since the blue tit destroys the caterpillars and pupae of many pests, it helps agriculture and forestry in the fight against harmful insects, for which it is very much appreciated by foresters.

In the autumn-winter period, when it becomes tight with live food, the blue tit switches to vegetable food, among which it especially values ​​the seeds of coniferous trees, as well as oak, boxwood, maple, birch and other deciduous trees. When there are few seeds, these small titmouses can visit the feeders, where they eagerly eat peanuts, sunflower seeds, unsalted lard and bread crumbs. There were cases when azures were pecked at milk bags and collected cream.

Nimble azures can catch their prey on the fly, but most often they peck out small insects from the bark of old trees.

Usually the birds of this species feed on the crown of the tree, but if food there dries out, then the blue titts descend to the ground and seek out goodies among the dry grass, fallen leaves and twigs. They also find food in dry reeds and rushes along the banks of reservoirs.

Listen to the voice of an azure tit

The female builds a nest by herself, choosing for this hollow or hollow in the wood, located rather high from the ground. If the cavity is small, the bird can sew it with its beak, plucking the walls of the tree. Also, the azure trees occupy artificial places for nesting, such as gaps between bricks, road signs, lampposts, etc. The nest is a small bowl strewn with moss, feathers, dry blades of grass and wool. All this birds seek out throughout the district.

Immediately after the appearance of chicks, they are completely helpless. The female warms them, and the male feeds the entire nest.

In one season two clutches usually take place, but sometimes eggs are laid only once.

The first clutch occurs approximately at the beginning of May, the second at the end of June. The usual quantity in one laying is from 5 to 13 eggs. Eggs are white, with a shiny shell, covered with spots and dots of brownish color. The female incubates chicks for about 16 days, during which the male feeds her 2 times a day. In very rare cases, the female, covering the clutch with down and feathers, chooses herself for food. If a dangerous guest is approaching the nest, the azures are hissing, imitating snakes, or are buzzing, like a wasp's nest.

After about 7-8 days, both parents begin to carry food to the offspring. After 15-23 days, the chicks are already fledging, and fly out of the nest. From this point on, they are able to take care of themselves independently.

What does a blue tit look like

The bird has a short tail and a small beak. The length of the body does not exceed 12 cm, and its weight is 14 g. The color features require highlighting a blue cap and dark blue stripes that highlight the contours of the black beak, passing through the eyes and closing at the back of the head. Another blue stripe adorns the neck, resembling a collar.

Forehead and cheeks have white plumage. The tail and wings are generously painted blue. Olive color predominates on the back, but the color intensity along with variations in shade may vary depending on the region where the bird lives. Bottom has a greenish-yellow color, which provides gray-gray legs with special brightness and visibility.

Females have a calmer color. In their plumage there are more yellow-white or green-white shades than rich yellow-green. The color of the young male is dull. He does not have a blue cap, his upper body is predominantly gray, the bottom is greenish.

The bird is characterized by great mobility and "talkativeness." Unlike simple tits, her songs begin with a three-syllable call, which develops in trills with 15 links. Communication with other birds is limited to pronouncing a short cyt, which can be repeated at different frequencies and speeds.

Blue Tit. Blue Tit in flight. Blue Tit. Blue Tit. Blue Tit in flight.

In European countries it is not represented only in Iceland, the high-mountainous regions of the Balkans and the Alps, and also in the north of Scotland. The forest-steppe zone of Southern Siberia, the southern - Syria, Iraq and Iran, is considered the eastern boundary of the range, the northern - the territory of Norway, Finland and Sweden.

The common blue tit prefers to settle in forests that have old trees. The bird does not impose special criteria for landscapes, except for the presence of deciduous trees. Can settle along the riverside, in city parks, on wastelands with sparse trees and even in the most often forest. The attitude to the person is benevolent, which allows the birds to create urban populations too, relying on feeding in parks.

In forests, the highest population density is found in places where birches or oaks grow. Among the other possible biotypes, the azure tree is attracted by the presence of juniper and cedar, thickets of date palms. In dry areas, the bird tries to settle in the floodplain forest along the river valleys.

Blue Tit. Blue Tit. Blue Tit. Blue Tit. Blue Tit. Blue Tit. Blue tit on spruce.

What does the blue tit eat

Despite the small size of the body, the bird prefers animal food. The blue tit hunts for insect larvae and insects themselves, whose dimensions do not exceed 1 cm in length. In the absence of caterpillars and larvae, the main ration of the bird is arachnids. As soon as the caterpillars gain a suitable mass, the birds immediately switch to them.

Blue tit destroys forest pests in huge quantities. Its menu necessarily includes aphid, unpaired silkworm, sawfly larvae, butterfly caterpillars - moths, wasps, flies, bugs.

In winter and late autumn, birds have to switch to vegetable food. Preference is given to the seeds of trees, especially birch, boxwood, yew, spruce, pine, cypress, oak and maple. Do not hesitate to enjoy the blue tit and eat the food from the bird feeders, choosing among the feeds presented seeds of peanuts or sunflower, unsalted lard. Possessing agility and a fair amount of ingenuity, the individuals living next to a man learned even to get the cream out of the milk bags. In nature, in winter, birds try to cross over to the thickets of reeds or willows on the banks of reservoirs in order to find insects that have decided to hide on the branches.

Blue Tit. Blue Tit. Blue Tit. Blue tit eats bacon. Blue tit chick.

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