Long tailed tits are early nesters.
The pair begins building their nest as early as February and it takes them three weeks and sometimes more to finish it. The nest might be high up, tight against the trunk of a forked tree, or much lower down in shrubs or bramble thickets.
The nests are oval-shaped with a single entrance and are made out of moss, and hair all glued together with cobwebs, covered with lichens for camouflage, and lined with hundreds of feathers.
There is usually a pause between the effort of nest building and the laying of up to a dozen eggs.
Although well camouflaged, many nests are lost to predators: crows, magpies, weasels and stoats. Birds that have lost their eggs or young will often become helpers at the active nests of related birds.
Keep a look out for them in the park’s hedges: tiny birds with tails longer than their bodies, often in small fidgety flocks.
Header Picture: Long tailed tit by Barry Tetchner (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) flickr.com
Fascinating birds and such close family connections!