When I think of European birds, this little bird always comes to mind. A common bird throughout much of Europe and Eurasia, the Eurasian Blue Tit can be found in backyard gardens and nearby woodlands across the continent. Since this month’s Just for Kids is all about France, I decided to feature the Eurasian Blue Tit as one of the common birds of the area.
The Eurasian Blue Tit similar to the Chickadees and Tufted Titmice here in the U.S. - with a very noticeable difference....unlike the chickadees and titmice here in America who are generally clad in earthy tones, the Eurasian Blue Tit lives up to its name - sporting brilliant blue, light yellow and green plumage.
There’s lots more to learn about the Eurasian Blue Tit - but first lets find out some fun facts about this species.
Did you know....
What Attracts the Eurasian Blue Tit?
Eurasian Blue Tits are often attracted to habitats in which they can find abundant insects in the spring and summer and seeds in the winter. If you live in Europe or have the opportunity to visit for a period of time, you may also attract them to your yard by filling the feeders with their favorite treats. The Eurasian Blue Tit’s feeder favorites are peanuts, peanut butter and suet.
What to Look for -
If you have the opportunity to see Eurasian Blue Tits - look for them foraging amongst trees and bushes, hanging upside-down to reach tidbits of food much like a chickadee. At the feeder, you’ll find them dining on suet, peanuts and peanut butter.
Zoom In: Species Profile
The Eurasian Blue Tit’s scientific name is Cyanistes caeruleus. This small bird about 4 - 5 inches long. Male and female look similar - both have a blue crest and nape, white face, navy blue to black eye and throat stripes, yellow underside, olive colored back and blue wings. Both male and female also have a dark line in the middle of their chest. Eurasian Blue Tits look like a colorful version of our American chickadees.
The Eurasian Blue Tit has a wide repertoire of songs including, “p,p,dee....p,p,dee”, “p,p,dee, cherrrrrrr....p,p, dee, cherrrrrr....”, and a ‘Zeeee, dee, dee.....Zeeee, dee, dee’ sound. Their alarm call is a chirring, rattling noise, sounding something like, “churrrrr, chur, churt”.
As mentioned above, the diet of the Eurasian Blue Tit is mostly caterpillar and insects in the spring and summer and seeds, nuts and suet in the winter. They are adept at controlling aphid populations - making them mostly beneficial in agricultural settings.
The Eurasian Blue Tit is a cavity nester, utilizing any available hole in a tree or a nest box in which to raise their young. The nest of the Eurasian Blue Tit is a cup of grass, wool and moss inside a tree cavity or nest box. The female Eurasian Blue Tit lays 8 - 10 eggs.
The preferred habitats of the Eurasian Blue Tit are woodlands, parks, gardens, residential and agricultural areas. Eurasian Blue Tits are widely distributed across most of Europe (except for the island of Malta and Iceland) and also parts of the Middle East including: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, central to southern Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Israel and small sections of Jordan, Iraq and Iran. Eurasian Blue Tits do not migrate - they are permanent residents wherever they are found.
This month’s activity page is a Eurasian Blue Tit coloring page. To download this free PDF, simply click here.
As I wrote this article and was contemplating what to say in conclusion, I was reminded of Jesus’ words in Luke 12:6-7 NIV, when He said,
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Every time I study God’s birds and see the beauty of His creation, I’m reminded of how much He loves us and cares for us. Just as He feeds the birds and cares for them and knows each and every one - so much more does He care for us and has minutely planned our days before we even lived one of them. Be encouraged today that God cares for you - Jesus loves you! God bless!
By, Jessi Wasell