Monday, October 25, 2010

Coal Tits Behaviour | common garden birds of the UK

Yesterday I watched the Coal Tit and saw some behaviour that I do not think is usually seen in common garden birds of the UK.
Again it was sheer luck that I glanced out of the kitchen window whilst filling the kettle and saw a Coal Tit, I first saw it as it flew from the feeder and onto the drive. I considered it to be another chance sighting, but maybe these Coal tits are visiting the garden so often, or there are so many of them around, that the odds of seeing them are no longer so great. This time however I was to witness some behaviour that I had not seen before.

After catching sight of this Coal Tit extracting seed from the new feeder we had hung up only yesterday, the sprightly little bird flitted across to the rear of the drive then onto the breeze block wall at the base of the fence. It now proceeded to skitter about from place to place as though searching for food, eventually pausing where there was a noticeable gap in the cement mortar and poked about the hole with it's beak. I wondered initially if this little feathery friend was searching the cracks and crannies seeking out insects.

Quick as a flash, as these Coal tits tend to do everything at full speed, it flew back to the feeder, selected a sunflower seed and in an instant swooped across to a planter situated about a metre from the window where I stood watching. This clever little fellow then proceeded to hide the seed beneath the stalks and leaves lying on the surface of the soil.

When I first started to see the coal tits appearing regularly in the garden a few weeks back, I consulted the bird books to find out more about them, their colours, habitats and feeding preference etc. I had read that they invariably take food from feeders and bury or hide it away so that they can return to it later when food is scarce, exactly like squirrels do with nuts and acorns. I was now watching this behaviour first hand, this was exactly the task this delightful little Coal Tit had set about doing this morning. I continued to watch as it set about hiding the seeds first of all in various places throughout our garden, then carrying them further afield into the neighbouring gardens.

He (or indeed she, for as far as I know the sexes are identical)) obviously approved of the new Black Sunflower seeds that we had put into the new feeder. This food must have appealed so much that it was going to stash away as much as it could before the other birds could start to make a meal of it.

The Coal tits are a relatively new and very welcome addition to the list of regular birds that grace our garden.

2 comments:

  1. Amazing to read this.
    I watched a Coal Tit visit my garden a few days ago, and do the very same. lol
    I thought I was imagining things at first.

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  2. Up until this year we had only seen Coal tits in our garden on a few isolated occasions. This year has certainly changed, we are seeing them every day throughout the day.
    I have no idea how many there actually are, the most I have seen at the same time is 2.

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