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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, Jarmo Jutila, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Long-tailed Tit

Aegithalos caudatus

  • Family: Long-tailed tits – Aegithalidae
  • Appearance: Otherwise small birds with strikingly long tails (7–9 cm). Their beady eyes stand out on their white heads.
  • Size: Length 13–15 cm, weight 7–10 g.
  • Nest: Impressive ball-shaped nests usually built in birch trees at a height of 1.5–15 m, artfully camouflaged with fragments of birch bark and lichens. Well-lined with soft feathers.
  • Breeding: Typically lays 7–12 eggs in April. Female incubates for 12–14 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 14–19 days.
  • Distribution: Breeds in young deciduous and mixed woodlands from Southern Finland to the latitudes of Oulu and Kainuu. Finnish breeding population estimated at 20,000–40,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Generally sedentary, but may migrate in flocks occasionally for long distances up to thousands of kilometres particularly in October–November, and to a lesser extent in March–April.
  • Diet: Invertebrates.
  • Calls: A very high “tii-tii-tii” or a crackly “tsrrr tsrrr”; also a tinkling song similar to that of Blue Tit.

Long-tailed Tits are otherwise tiny rounded birds with strikingly long tails. No closely related species are found in Finland. They have snowy white heads and underparts, with greyish or pinkish tints visible on their bellies and undertail coverts. Their wings and back have black, white and reddish markings. Their long tails are black with white edges. Adults have dark brown legs and black beaks; but young birds have reddish legs and black beaks with yellowish tips and bases. Their irises are reddish brown, surrounded by red or yellow eye rings.

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