Author Topic: Strange tit behaviour  (Read 4090 times)

Strange tit behaviour
« on: 01 April, 2023, 12:44:05 pm »
For the past week or so a blue tit - or blue tits (they all look the same to me - is that tittist?) - has been very curious about what's going on in the house. It will land on a perch near a window or patio door, look in twitchily for a while, then fly up the window, sometimes up against it. Then away, only to return later. That's four or five times this morning already.

I thought it might be something to do with seeing its reflection as a rival, but I'm not so sure. It comes at an angle to perches a lot closer than it normally would - the back of a patio chair a couple of inches away. and even on the handle of the patio door - so won't have seen a reflection at that point. Can the team offer any plausible explanations of this behaviour?

Basil

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Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #1 on: 01 April, 2023, 01:02:24 pm »
We've had blue tits perching on the window ledge to peer in several times.
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Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #2 on: 01 April, 2023, 01:12:25 pm »
I'm sure it's possible that (while reflection is a popular theory and may well be right in some cases) anything which has a brain could suffer from mental defects.  This is observable in some dogs and all cats.  What amazes me about birds and windows is how many birds who fly full pelt into a window appear to have succumbed and then recover a minute or two later, in your hand.  Of course, there is no gratitude.

Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #3 on: 01 April, 2023, 01:39:53 pm »
In the days when doors and windows had putty, birds like blue tits were attracted to the linseed oil, to the extent of pecking all the putty out.
Assuming you have UPVC, reflections are the most likely explanation. Once it has seen a reflection, it suppose it could well decide to perch a little way away to see if it is a threat, rival or potential mate.

Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #4 on: 03 April, 2023, 12:25:26 pm »
Every year we get long tailed tits attacking one of our side windows on and off for a week or so. There is a nice hedge for them to perch in about a meter away and the fly back and forth scratching and pecking at the window. I presume it's that the light is just right for reflections at that time of the year and coincides with them being aggressive as its mating season.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #5 on: 03 April, 2023, 01:18:17 pm »
ISTR that Alfred Hitchcock filmed a documentary about this sort of thing.  :demon:
"He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." ~ Freidrich Neitzsche

Zed43

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Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #6 on: 03 April, 2023, 05:23:52 pm »
I don't think that documentary had any tits in them.

Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #7 on: 03 April, 2023, 05:44:04 pm »
Indeed. It is beginning to get a bit unnerving, but if it comes to it I think I'll be able to handle some tits. (Fnar fnar.)

Pingu

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Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #8 on: 03 April, 2023, 05:53:47 pm »
Blue tits have been visiting one of our nest boxes and seem to be demolishing it. They are spending a fair bit of time pecking around the hole and down the front. They also get inside and peck the hole from there.

This was 3 weeks ago:



IMG_3427_01 by The Pingus, on Flickr

This is the box today:


IMG_3592_01 by The Pingus, on Flickr


Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #9 on: 03 April, 2023, 05:55:08 pm »
Indeed. It is beginning to get a bit unnerving, but if it comes to it I think I'll be able to handle some tits. (Fnar fnar.)

Tim the Enchanter:  "I warned you! I warned you, but did you listen to me? Oh no, you knew it all, didn't you? Oh, it's just a harmless little bunny songbird, isn't it? Well, it's always the same. I always told them, but do they listen to me? Oooh, no..." ;)
"He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." ~ Freidrich Neitzsche

Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #10 on: 03 April, 2023, 08:44:00 pm »
Blue tits have been visiting one of our nest boxes and seem to be demolishing it. They are spending a fair bit of time pecking around the hole and down the front. They also get inside and peck the hole from there.

All 3 of my tit-sized nest boxes in the back garden have been given the same treatment.  I have no idea why they do it.

Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #11 on: 03 April, 2023, 08:46:45 pm »
Blue tits have been visiting one of our nest boxes and seem to be demolishing it. They are spending a fair bit of time pecking around the hole and down the front. They also get inside and peck the hole from there.

All 3 of my tit-sized nest boxes in the back garden have been given the same treatment.  I have no idea why they do it.
Bigger tits.
This isn't a request.

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #12 on: 03 April, 2023, 10:33:31 pm »
Insects in the wood possibly? There probably aren't any, cos it's treated of course, but maybe they think there might be?
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Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #13 on: 03 April, 2023, 10:38:46 pm »
I did wonder that myself whether it was just the hole was a bit small, but I don’t believe they are trying to enlarge the entrance.  I have two different designs of tit boxes with holes aimed at blue tits (small) and great tits (3mm larger diameter iirc).  Both got the same treatment.  I have also wondered whether they were removing any potential sharp edges / splinters around the entrance  as they do fly in with some speed when they are feeding young.

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #14 on: 04 April, 2023, 06:08:54 pm »
Something I read on the internet reckoned that when they nest in holes in trees they peck the bark off round the hole.

In today's tit news we saw one of the pair shaking it's booty on top of the box and a bit later one went in while the other one dangled off the front for a while.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Jaded

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Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #15 on: 04 April, 2023, 10:47:20 pm »
Every time I see this thread title I think of Jordan.
It is simpler than it looks.

PaulF

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Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #16 on: 04 April, 2023, 10:50:04 pm »
Every time I see this thread title I think of Jordan.

I think of Donald Trump. Your headspace is probably the healthier one.

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #17 on: 08 April, 2023, 05:05:48 pm »
Went up to the shed this arvo and one of the tits came fleeing out of the nest box, presumably on my approach. I hope I haven't permanently scared them off again.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Paul

  • L'enfer, c'est les autos.
Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #18 on: 09 April, 2023, 08:10:26 am »
Every year we get long tailed tits attacking one of our side windows on and off for a week or so. There is a nice hedge for them to perch in about a meter away and the fly back and forth scratching and pecking at the window. I presume it's that the light is just right for reflections at that time of the year and coincides with them being aggressive as its mating season.
I’ve just witnessed this myself for the first time. A little bird (I’m hopeless at colours) perched on the sill, knocking away like someone who’d forgotten their keys.
What's so funny about peace, love and understanding?

Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #19 on: 10 March, 2024, 08:40:20 pm »
They've started doing it again.

Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #20 on: 11 March, 2024, 08:00:03 am »
I've noticed great tits taking sunflower seeds from the feeder and then appearing to stuff them into gaps in the pointing of the garden wall.  Are they known for stashing food?
The sound of one pannier flapping

Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #21 on: 20 March, 2024, 07:53:36 pm »
Tits peck around the nestbox hole to make sure that the wood is hard enough to prevent predators from getting at their chicks when they eventually arrive. If it doesn't pass their test, they nest elsewhere.
 
"Ott's Law states that the worst weather will coincide with the worst part (for that weather) of any planned ride"

Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #22 on: 21 March, 2024, 10:21:57 am »
Tits peck around the nestbox hole to make sure that the wood is hard enough to prevent predators from getting at their chicks

Thanks for that, was not aware of this.

Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #23 on: 21 March, 2024, 10:15:24 pm »
 :thumbsup:
"Ott's Law states that the worst weather will coincide with the worst part (for that weather) of any planned ride"

Re: Strange tit behaviour
« Reply #24 on: 21 March, 2024, 10:21:32 pm »
Yep.  Lots of pecking around the entrance hole to the box today.  Initially I thought it was a woodpecker on a nearby tree.  Have to say they were very thorough in their inspections!
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