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Blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

A garden feeder favourite, blue tits are among our most colourful bird species.

Common name: blue tit

Scientific name: Cyanistes caeruleus

Family: Sylviidae (warblers)

Appearance

Head: Blue tits have a white face with a bright blue cap and black feathers around the eyes and below the beak. The larger great tit can be distinguished by its all black cap, while the UK’s other tit species are much duller in colour.

Wings: Extremely colourful, blue tit wings contain shades of blue, white and green. With a typical weight of just 11g, these dainty birds are just over half the size of a robin.

Body: Blue tits have a bright yellow breast.

Where to spot

With an estimated population of around 3.4 million pairs, blue tits are one of our most common birds. They are found in deciduous and mixed woodland, hedges, gardens and parks across the UK.

Feeding

Blue tits feed mostly on insects and spiders, caterpillars are a favoured prey. They will also take fruit and seeds in the winter. Extremely acrobatic, they often hang upside down from branches while looking for food.

Breeding

Blue tit nests are built from moss, wool, hair or feathers and they will often take advantage of man-made structures such as holes in walls and fence posts. Eggs are normally laid in April or early May, with chicks fledging after around three weeks.

Facts

  • In winter, blue tits form flocks with other tit species.
  • Like all birds, blue tits can see ultra-violet light - the front of their head glows brightly under UV light and this is how females are thought to choose their partners.
  • The UK blue tit population has grown by 21% since 1970.

Join Nature’s Calendar

We want to track the effects of weather and climate change on wildlife. Let us know when you first see blue tits collecting nest material and when they start feeding their young and you’ll be helping us to assess whether climate change is impacting this iconic species' behaviour.

Start recording