Blog Archive: Tits

Birdorable Azure Tit

2015 Bonanza Bird #21: Azure Tit

December 21st, 2015 in Birdorable Bonanza 2015, New Birds, Tits 3 comments

Our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition just has a few more days to go! Today we reveal a little cutie from the same family as chickadees: the Azure Tit!

Birdorable Azure Tit

Azure Tits are small songbirds found across parts of Russia and central Asia. For the most part they are resident birds (non-migratory) throughout their range. This little cutie-pie is in the same family as titmice and chickadees.

The Azure Tit is found in many different types of forested habitat, including cultivated lands like orchards and gardens. Azure Tits feed on a varied diet, which inlcudes both insects and plant material. Outside of breeding season, they will feed in mixed foraging flocks which may contain other species of tit as well as warblers.

Azure Tits nest in cavities. They use holes in trees but also other cavities like inside man-made structures or even in a nook in a pile of rocks. Female Azure Tits construct the nest cup inside the cavity, lining it with soft material like animal fur and moss.

Azure Tit (Parus cyanus) - Номин хөхбух
Azure Tit by Jargal Lamjav (CC BY-SA 2.0)
azure_tit
Azure Tit by Anita Szeicz (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Azure Tit joins Birdorable today as our 637th cute cartoon bird. Be sure to check out our selection of apparel and gifts featuring our Birdorable Azure Tit.

Tomorrow our Bonanza will reveal a widespread species of shorebird that is named for the color of its belly during the breeding season. Can you guess tomorrow's species?

Birdorable Crested Tit

2013 Bonanza Bird #3: Crested Tit

July 3rd, 2013 in Birdorable Bonanza 2013, Tits No comments

Today our Birdorable Bonanza 2013 continues with the addition of a small European species. Our third Bonanza bird is the Crested Tit.

Birdorable Crested Tit

Crested Tits are small songbirds in the tit family; they are related to chickadees, titmice, and other types of tits. They live in forested habitats throughout parts of Europe; they are also known as European Crested Tits.

Kuifmees (Crested Tit)
Kuifmees (Crested Tit) by Maarten Visser (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Crested Tits feed on both insects and seeds, and will visit feeding stations. In times of abundance, they cache food for later use.

crested-tit

Tomorrow, as we celebrate Independence Day in the United States, we will introduce a bird with "American" in the name!

bonanza-2013-preview-4
Birdorable Black-capped Chickadee

Fun facts about chickadees

January 15th, 2013 in Tits, Fun Facts, Chickadees 8 comments

Check out these fun facts about chickadees:

  • There are seven species of chickadee in the world. Chickadees, along with titmice, belong to the family Paridae. This family of songbirds also includes birds known as tits.

Birdorable Black-capped ChickadeeBlack-capped Chickadee

  • The Black-capped Chickadee is the state bird of both Maine and Massachusetts. It is also the provincial bird of New Brunswick.
     
  • The Grey-headed Chickadee is also known as the Siberian Tit. Strangely, it does not have a grey head.
     
  • These little birds are known as "chickadees" because of their alarm call. This type of name is onomatopoetic -- the word is the sound that it describes.
     
  • The more "dee" notes at the end of a chickadee call indicate increasing levels of agitation. For instance, a chickadee may end their call with just one "dee" when a known person fills a favorite bird feeder. An owl roosting near the feeding station would warrant many more "dee" notes.
     
  • This is what the call of the Black-capped Chickadee sounds like:
     
  • While some species may move seasonally, for the most part chickadees are non-migratory. Passing migrant species may seek out feeding flocks of chickadees (finding their "chick-a-dee" call familiar) as they stop along their migration route. As flocks of chickadees attract migratory birds, they also attract birdwatchers!
     

Birdorable Boreal ChickadeeBoreal Chickadee

  • Chickadees are known to store food items like seeds or insect larvae in times of abundance. The cached food may be retrieved in leaner times. The Mexican Chickadee is the only chickadee which does not cache food.
     
  • Chickadees are cavity nesters. They use old woodpecker holes or excavate their own cavities in rotted or soft wood. They will also use birdhouses.
     
  • Chestnut-backed Chickadees like to line their nests with animal hair, with fur from animals like coyotes, skunk, rabbits, and others making up to half of the nest's materials.
     
  • A group of chickadees can be called a banditry of chickadees. This collective noun probably refers to the mask-like appearance of chickadee species.
     
  • The range of Black-capped Chickadees overlaps with that of Carolina Chickadees. They look so much alike that even the birds themselves may have a hard time telling each other apart - they hybridize! Offspring of a mixed pair sing a song that is three notes long. That's one less note than the Carolina parent, and one more note than the Black-capped parent!

Birdorable Mountain ChickadeeMountain Chickadee

Birdorable Great Tit

Baby Birdorable: Great Tit

May 18th, 2012 in Tits, Baby Birds 2 comments

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the Great Tit. Great Tits are cavity nesters and will readily use man-made nest boxes. Females construct a soft nest inside the cavity to prepare for a brood that may contain up to 18 chicks. More typically the clutch size varies from 5 to 12. Baby Great Tits hatch after about 14 days of incubation; fledging occurs about three weeks later.

broeden !!
broeden !! by 1000zen
eitjes
eitjes by 1000zen
Young Great Tit on one of its first excursions from the nest
Young Great Tit on one of its first excursions from the nest by Dave_S.
Young Great Tit on one of its first excursions from the nest
Young Great Tit on one of its first excursions from the nest by Dave_S.
Young Great Tit on one of its first excursions from the nest
Young Great Tit on one of its first excursions from the nest by Dave_S.
Great Tit fledgling 1
Great Tit fledgling 1 by fs-phil
Great Tit's Feeding
Great Tit's Feeding by madmcmojo

Pretty cute, right? Be sure to check out our Birdorable Great Tit t-shirts and gifts!

Birdorable Blue Tit

Baby Birdorable: Blue Tit

September 20th, 2011 in Tits, Baby Birds 2 comments

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the Blue Tit. Blue Tits are common garden birds in their European range. Cavity nesters, they will readily use man-made nestboxes. Clutch size is usually large, consisting of seven or eight eggs.

Seven Eggs and Mum (Blue tit nest 2007)
Seven Eggs and Mum (Blue tit nest 2007) by fs-phil
Ten little dicky-birds
Ten little dicky-birds by Dave-F
Herrerillo común en nido (Parus caeruleus) Blue tit nexto to nest
Herrerillo común en nido (Parus caeruleus) Blue tit nexto to nest by hhhalberto
Blue Tits
Blue Tits by BingoBangoGringo
Blue Tit feeding fledgling
Blue Tit feeding fledgling by Dave-F
June 4.jpg
June 4.jpg by daren_ck
Grumpy Chick
Grumpy Chick by fs-phil
Baby Blue Tit
Baby Blue Tit by Annie Roi
Baby Blue Tits
Baby Blue Tits by stoic
Blue tit chick
Blue tit chick by fs-phil
Young Blue Tit
Young Blue Tit by fs-phil

Pretty cute, right? Be sure to check out our Birdorable Blue Tit t-shirts and gifts!

Birdorable Black-crested Titmouse

Fun Facts: Black-crested Titmouse

February 7th, 2011 in Tits, Fun Facts 1 comment
Birdorable Black-crested Titmouse

1. The Black-crested Titmouse is closely related to the Tufted Titmouse. They hybridize where their ranges overlap (in Central Texas) and they used to be considered the same species.

2. The bird's DNA suggests that the Black-crested Titmouse diverged from the Tufted TItmouse about 250,000 years ago.

3. It's 'peter, peter, peter' call is similar to that of the Tufted Titmouse, but shorter.

4. Their diet consists of seeds, berries, nuts, insects and insect eggs.

5. The crest of a female Black-crested Titmouse is actually dark gray.

6. Another name for the Black-crested Titmouse is the Mexican Titmouse.

7. Black-crested Titmice are considered residents throughout their range, which covers much of central Texas, and parts of Oklahoma and Mexico. They do not migrate.

8. Black-crested Titmice are cavity nesters, and have been known to line their nests with horse hair, feathers, onion skins, and even tissue paper.

9. The Black-crested Titmouse is one of our cute Birdorable birds! The Black-crested Titmouse was added to Birdorable on November 10th, 2010. Check out our other cute tits and chickadees.

Huey was glad to finally get his little gnome cap.
Photo by martytdx (source: Flickr)