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Blue tit falls over itself to get its beak on free nesting materials

Last modified: 17 May 2013

Blue tit finds nesting material

RSPB member, Tim Clifton, took this photo of a blue tit taking the nesting material he’d put out in his garden in St Leonards on Sea, Sussex.

Image: Tim Clifton

Amateur photographer and RSPB member, Tim Clifton, was lucky enough to have his camera handy when he saw this blue tit taking a tumble while tugging on the nesting material he’d put out for his garden birds. 

Tim Clifton, from St Leonards on Sea in Sussex, said: 'Since I put the nesting material out in my garden I’ve had no end of interest from blue tits and sparrows; sometimes there are two or three getting a beak-full at the same time.  In fact, a few days after I took this picture, the supply had completely gone, so it was obviously greatly received. It’s been fantastic watching the birds come and go, and knowing I’m helping to give them a home in my garden.' 

The RSPB recommends that putting out suitable materials at this time of year, so birds can use them to build their nests. You can buy suitable nesting materials, but wool, as well as human and pet hair works just as well. Due to the late spring, the breeding season for many birds has been delayed and many are still making their nests.

Val Osborne, the RSPB's head of wildlife enquiries, said: 'At this time of year there is normally is plenty of shrubbery for birds to make safe nests in and hide from predators, but the late start to spring has meant many leaves are yet to come out.  Instead of their usual spots, birds may opt to build homes in more unusual places as well as ivy and other evergreens, so gardeners should stay alert and be vigilant when pottering about this weekend.

'This is a crucial time for our feathered friends. They've already been through a lot – especially the migrants with their late arrival into the country and the terrible conditions they had to contend with – so we need to make sure we help them as much as we can through the breeding season. Holding off on trimming bushes or cutting hedges is one of the main things we'd like people to do,' added Val.

The RSPB is also warning people that birds could be nesting in their roofs. Roofs provided a luxurious nest site for many birds, including red-listed species like house sparrows and starlings. 

Val said: 'If you have birds in your roof then they leave them in peace and hold off on any repairs until the nest is no longer in use. Usually no damage is caused by nesting birds, in fact the only way you’d know they were there is because of all the chattering and cheeping they do, but most people find that endearing.' 

At this time of year our gardens are a haven for a variety of wildlife making their homes and bring up their young.

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