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).
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!