British wildlife recordings

Aegithalos caudatus : Long-tailed Tit - Aegithalidae

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  • Shelf mark

    W1CDR0001535 BD18

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  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Old Dean Common, Camberley, Surrey: OS Grid Reference(488500,160500)

  • Recordist

    Williams, Aubrey John

  • Species

    Long-tailed Tit, Aegithalos caudatus

  • Description

    A call made by a long-tailed tit recorded on Old Dean Common, Surrey. This familiar woodland bird is immediately identifiable as a tiny ball of fluff with a long tail and although not closely related to the other tit species is certainly the daintiest of the group. It is a gregarious bird and stays in family flocks whilst working a circuit around local woods and hedgerows in the constant search for food. As each bird searches for spiders, flies, beetles, and caterpillars, it keeps in constant contact with other members of their group by ringing notes and a very distinctive ?thrup? call. It constructs possibly the most beautiful nest of any British bird, which consists of a spherical mass of up to 2,000 feathers and moss, with a tiny entrance hole that is then bound together by cobwebs and camouflaged in lichen. Typical broods range from seven to twelve chicks and in good years, the parents will raise a second brood. There are 210,000 long-tailed tit territories in Britain, but cold winters can reduce the breeding population by up to 80%, and recently there has been a moderate increase. It is now more commonly seen in gardens in winter as it shuns peanuts but take advantage of fat and cheese left out by bird-friendly homeowners.

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