Attracting blue tits to your garden

These bright and cheery visitors are much-beloved for their cheeky nature and trilling chirp. Their colours make them one of our more attractive garden diners and can look almost exotic next to the dull hues of sparrows and blackbirds.

Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) are one of our must numerous birds with 2.5 million being reported in Britain and Ireland (the only places they don’t inhabit are the Shetland and Orkney islands) so it’s very likely you’ll have some living nearby. You can entice them onto your feeders with some very simple steps.

But first, let’s get to know blue tits a little better.

Smart adult blue tit

Blue tit factfile

Size: 11.5 cm 

Weight: 9-12 g

Male/female: very similar in appearance, although male has brighter colours, particularly on the head

Breeding season: From mid-April

Eggs: Blue tits will typically have a clutch of 7-13 eggs, laid in early May. However some blue tits can lay up to 19 eggs.  Eggs are smooth and glossy with rust-coloured speckles.

Incubation: 12-16 days

Fledging: Juveniles leave the nest within 15-23 days

Typical lifespan: 3 years

Nutrition: Insects, caterpillars, seed, pollen, berries

Blue tit on feeder

 

Attracting blue tits

While blue tits love a range of feed they are particularly fanatical about suet balls and suet pellets. Hang your feeders away from fences and trees as these are ideal perches for cats. Domestic cats are one of the major causes of blue tit mortality.

Blue tits are fond of lunchtime acrobatics so provide feeders that they can grip onto as they eat (sometimes upside down!); a mesh peanut feeder is ideal scurry up and hop about on! Peanuts are also a great source of protein for blue tits and perhaps their second favourite feed. However, ensure that peanuts are not left out during the nesting season as adult blue tits can try to feed their chicks with food that is much too large and indigestible for them.

They are incredibly social birds and can often be seen alongside great tits. A bird table is an ideal space for species to mix, as well as being an open area to keep a watch for predators.

During the autumn months, blue tits will feast on elder and hawthorn berries (haws), so if you have the outdoor space these berry-rich trees will bring flocks of blue tits to your garden from September through to December!

Blue tits frequently have their large broods in garden nest boxes as they settle in for a frantic family-life. When hanging your nest box, aim to place it in a north easterly direction to keep chicks away from strong sunlight and wet winds.

Welcome these inquisitive creatures with regular food and a garden rich in wildlife-friendly flowers and soon you’ll have dozens of bright cyan visitors!

Blue tit feeding chicks

4 thoughts on “Attracting blue tits to your garden

  1. Our blue-tit family have taken refuge in our nesting box, the first birds to do so as we only moved into our new home some 4 years ago…. They are now both extremely busy as the chicks have incubated and require lots of grub… We have a number of young fruit trees which they have been de-insecting… Be interesing to count how big their family has become…
    We also get regular visits from some 20+ starlings, yesterday after the rain they were searching for leatherjackets & worms .. They only stay in our garden for some 15 minutes before move on..
    A family of magpies are now taking an interest, so have had to scare them away as the sometimes sit next to the blue tits refuge..
    Great fun…

    1. Hi I was just wondering do you still have any I would really enjoy to keep them in my garden

  2. I am trying to encourage more birds to come into my clients garden but not having much luck, I have robins, pigeons and a squirrel. I’ve put fat balls out and wild life food but still no luck , can’t move bird feeder as it’s the only place my client can see the birds, can you please help, fingers crossed

    1. Hi Corrine, it’s probably worth taking a look at where the feeder is in your clients garden. If the feeders are out in the open then it could be the birds aren’t comfortable coming to them, or it could just be you need to give them more time to find the food. If you’re in an area where lots of people are feeding birds, they have their pick of foods, so it might take them a little while to find yours. You can find more advice here: https://blog.lovegardenbirds.co.uk/why-arent-birds-coming-to-my-feeders/ and we have a wide range of bird foods that might help here if you like: https://www.lovegardenbirds.co.uk/garden-bird-seed-mixes. Good luck!

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