Long-tailed tits have surprisingly large personalities for such tiny birds. I see them frequently at this time of year in flocks of ten or more, twittering through the hedgerows looking for food. They eat small invertebrates, and eggs and caterpillars of moths and butterflies, so benefit from relaxed management. Many species of butterfly lay their eggs on twigs so that their larvae can hatch out and eat the new leaves, and the tits will enjoy picking these off to sustain them; they have a small volume to surface area and lose heat quickly so need a lot of fuel over the winter. Allowing them to clean up your fruit trees, and leaving summer brassicas to overwinter means the birds have food through the winter for no cost or effort from us.

I painted this a little while ago, and he’s my second attempt. They have a lot of white so it’s a question of giving the eye enough information to fill in the body shape. As well as painting, I enjoy journalling and simply adore ephemera and vintage bird pictures. I have a selection of cigarette cards about birds and mammals and love the illustrations, as well as the information.

I seems slightly incongruous to have something so wholesome and worthy in tobacco packaging, but I have some tea cards too. I am putting together some ephemera and scrapbooking sets in my Etsy to join the journalling packs I have in there already.

Here is the painting, done in gouache on Somerset paper:

This painting is available in my Etsy Shop.

2 thoughts on “Bird of the Day: Long-tailed Tit

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