As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Biggest-ever influx of Coal Tits to British gardens


This November, Coal Tits were seen in over 70% of gardens, according to figures from the British Trust for Ornithology's (BTO) Garden BirdWatch (GBW). Cold weather or a lack of tree seeds in the wider countryside may be behind the rise in sightings.

Participants in the BTO’s Garden BirdWatch survey have been keeping weekly records of the birds seen in their gardens over the last 20 years, an incredible citizen science project that enables the BTO understand how birds use human habitats such as gardens. Coal Tits are among our smallest garden birds, and are often driven away from bird feeders by the larger, more aggressive Great Tits and Blue Tits. They have a habit of darting to a feeder, quickly taking a seed and hiding it in moss or a crevice to eat later. Coal Tits can be recognised by their striking black-and-white striped heads, and by their overall brown and grey plumage, with none of the yellow or blue colour seen in Great Tits and Blue Tits.

In the summer Coal Tits normally remain within woodland, and are recorded in fewer than a third of gardens. In the winter they ¬are seen in more gardens, and are generally recorded by at least 40% of Garden BirdWatchers in November, when they are driven to garden bird feeders by cold weather.


This is the perfect time to join Garden BirdWatch ready for 2018, or sign up a friend or family member as a Christmas gift. New joiners in December will receive a book on garden birds and wildlife and, for a limited time only, the BTO 2018 calendar, which is marked with Garden BirdWatch weeks and other bird survey dates. To find out more, please contact by email (gbw@bto.org), visit www.bto.org/gbw or call us on 01842 750050 (Mon-Fri 9am-5:00pm).

11 December 2017



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