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With its face mask that looks a little like the Lone Ranger’s, isn’t this just the cutest wee bird? It’s a Blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), commonly known in some parts of Britain as a Tom Tit or Jackie Bluecap. The name tit struck me as odd until I discovered it dates back to the early 14th century when it used to mean small or a small creature. This makes perfect sense when you consider that these little birds are only 12cm (4.7in) long and weigh in at about 11gms (0.39oz).

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It’s not just their petite size and their cuteness that makes Blue tits popular. They will happily snack at birdfeeders and take advantage of a nest-box in your garden, so are easy to watch and a great way to introduce young children to the joys of birdwatching. And they’re not only popular with the young ones – gardeners love the fact that one of the tit’s favourite foods is the caterpillar. Better in the tit’s belly than munching away on the cabbages in the vege patch!

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