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The Great Tit Kingdom sketchbook page

Although many different species of birds frequent our bird feeders in the garden, it is the kingdom of the Great Tit. These handsome, squabbalacious tits are the no-nonsense rulers of the peanut feeders. They pester, bully and quarrel with the smaller birds. It seems that the coal tits and blue tits are mere subjects in the great tit kingdom.

I’ve been a bit lax in putting out food for the birds since the piglet came along. He’s a wonderful baby but he likes to be carried at all times. I’ve become very good at many one-handed tasks – sorting laundry, making lunch, putting on make-up – but filling the bird feeders is beyond me. Despite my disappointing inconsistent food provisions over the summer, the great tits are always the first to return. Often they sit in the trees impatiently watching me put the food out, calling their distinctive “tea-cher tea-cher” call. I get the impression they are telling me off. Great tits have adapted beautifully to the human environment. The bird table is their speciality domain.

The Bird Feeder

I think that the UK’s biggest tit is often overlooked. Big and common means that you aren’t a treasured sight. But great tits are really very good looking with their olive and yellow colourings, glossy black head and white cheeks.

King Great Tit by Hannah Longmuir
King Great Tit

The drawing above is of the King of the Great Tits. With his sparkling eye and fine feathers he rules the bird feeders. Of course, even he has to be wary of predators such as The Slightly Dim Sparrowhawk.

You can find a print of The Bird Feeder and the King Great Tit card in the shop.

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