How to attract Blue Tits to your garden

It is very common to want to attract these stunning birds to our gardens. But how do we go about it? Thankfully Blue Tits are one of the birds here in the UK that we have in abundance. According to the RSPB’s most resent 2018 survey the Blue Tit is our third most common bird. This is one up from last year, which is great to see these birds growing in numbers.

How to identify a Blue Tit

These pretty little birds may be small, but their vibrant colours make them stand out from the crowd. When identifying a Blue Tit they have very distinctive markings that you should be looking out for. They have a number of attractive coloured marking all over their bodies. Starting with the main crest part of its body, which is sunshine yellow with a short vertical black line down the middle. Making it look slightly like the Blue Tit has on a stylish yellow waist coat. Running down its back is a moss green colour which blends nicely into its electric blue wings. There is also a very slight white fringing to the edge of the wings. This colour theme continues to the Blue Tit’s head, which is a white face with a blue hat and collar. But the most fun feature is that the Blue Tit looks like it’s wearing a black eye mask and goatee. The blue cap on the top of a Blue Tit’s head has been shown to be an integral part of their mating ritual. This blue cap glows under ultra violet light. As birds are able to see ultra violet light the Blue Tit’s use this to attract a mate. The brighter the plumage the more attractive they will be to a potential partner.

What do Blue Tits eat?

Blue Tits are omnivorous birds and will be tempted by most things left out for them. These gregarious birds can be found performing great aerial acrobatics displays dipping between trees and hedges; whilst hunting down their favourite meal of insects, caterpillars, spiders and larvae. Particularly in the spring months when they are looking to feed their babies, this is the nourishment of choice as it can be the easiest for their young to digest.

In the autumn months they will add berries and seeds into their diets as they come into season. If you have a garden with a little more space you could think about adding in a berry tree or bush for the bird to enjoy, and which you can also benefit from.

Although it may seem like the diet of a Blue Tit is not one that can be replicated in a bird feeder; there is one thing that they love and that is peanuts. There are specific peanut feeders designed to make it easy for the birds, allowing access the peanuts through larger mesh holes. These are great for Blue Tits as they rely on a protein rich diet and peanuts are a great source of that which we can leave out for them. Be careful not to leave these out in the spring, as they may attempt to feed these to their young. Peanuts are too hard for the young and can choke on the pieces brought back for them. It is also advised to keep a check on the freshness of the nuts as if they get wet they can mould quickly.

If you mostly leave out seeds to also attract other birds to your garden, don’t fear, as Blue Tits will still happily eat this too. Similarly withsuet and fat balls which can be hung anywhere in your garden.However preferable up high and away from fences, as cats and foxes will also take a liking to them.

Blue Tit Habitat

Blue Tits are cavity nesters, often taking advantage of small pre made holes and cavities when making their nest. They will then pad it out with things like wool, feathers and moss for insulation to keep their young warm and safe.  This is great news for those seeking to attract Blue Tits to the garden. What better way than to give them a space to hatch their young. They may already be some crevices dotted around you garden that they could use. But putting out a nesting box as a prominent and obvious place for the Blue Tits to nest in is a great idea. Make sure you put it in a spot away from any access from predators. Avoid things like a low garden fence, which a cat could easily walk along for example. This will deter Blue Tits from using it as they will not feel like their young are safe. Do not be deterred if do not inhabit your nest box the first time you put it out for them. It could also be the case that another bread of bird gets in there first, which is still a great result. Make sure you keep the box up all year so the birds will know it’s there when the time comes. And it also makes a lovely little feature in the garden.

Now all you have to do is sit back and wait. Blue Tit’s great social nature and acrobatic skills make them the perfect bird to attract to your garden. So once they do find all the exciting treats you have laid out for them, and start to frequent your garden, they will give you hours of endless entertainment. Enjoy!