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Mature Tits Blog UPD

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Colostrum contains high levels of immune factors, also called immunoglobulins, which help coat and seal the stomach lining that starts out permeable at birth, and helps prevent harmful pathogens from entering the digestive system. It also contains antioxidants and helps establish healthy bacteria for normal gut function while also acting as a laxative to help the baby clear meconium (the dark, tarry stool). Colostrum is higher in vitamins A and E, protein, zinc, and potassium than mature milk, which is higher in fat and lactose.

By the time your baby is a month old, your breastmilk will be in the mature milk phase. Transitional and mature milk are usually lighter and whiter in color than colostrum, but the color of breastmilk can change based on any foods, medications, or vitamins you take, as well as the nutritional requirements needed to fight off illness for either you or your baby.

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The death rate amongst tits is very high in cold weather. As many as 80-90% of tits normally die in their first year of life, even in mild winter climates. The loss rate for mature birds is only 20 30%. It is important that loss of warmth during cold winter nights is minimised. More and more people are feeding protein-rich food to winter birds, which is an excellent thing to do. However, tits often like to spend winter nights in nest boxes, so boxes with good insulating properties should be set up in the vicinity of the feeding places. This helps the birds to use the short winter days more effectively, and avoids them having to squander energy on long flights or to waste precious food searching time.

The temperature in nest boxes can fluctuate a great deal, but good protection is afforded against wind, snow, and rain, A cotton wad can be laid inside the nest box, but this should be removed and thrown away in good time for the breeding season as the tits will also use the nest box as a toilet during the winter nights.

Nest boxes for the small tit species, crested tit and coal tit, should be set up no more than 1 2 metres from theground. The willow tit does not normally breed in nest boxes, but hacks out its own nest in decayed tree trunks. However, if a nest box is set up at a height of one metre and one-third filled every year with wood shavings, then even willow tits can be persuaded to breed in the box. This sort of nest filling is a good imitation of the rotten wood found in old tree trunks and will also attract crested tits and coal tits to breed in nest boxes to a much greater extent than usual.

Favourite nest boxes for the great tit In my research area, great tits have really taken to the flycatcher model of'All-year' nest boxes, RF-nest boxes, as well as plank nest boxes which I have made myself.

Plank nest boxes 2 cm thick timber should be used. The internal depth should be 20 cm, the inner side measurements 15 cm, the entrance hole 3.5 4 cm, and the roof height 25 cm. The box should be set at a height 2.5 3 rn, but the direction in which the box is facing is of no particular significance in this case, except that, as with other nest box-inhabiting birds, a north-facing entrance is unpopular. A movable floor facilitates cleaning after the tits have finished each year and should always be included in the design if possible.

The great tit is one of the most common of our tits. The male and female have a similar appearance, though the female's colours arc somewhat paler. They are common in gardens, parks, and woodland, and during the winter they are the leaders of tit flocks, though tending to feed on the woodland floor while the smaller and more agile species remain more in the canopy.

Hormones influence the behaviour of the great tit and if it is sunnv, fine, and relatively warm, he will start his hoarse little melody as early as January or February. 1 have even heard great tits singing on New Year's after noon, as if they were ringing in the New Year. Being one of the first bird songs to be heard at this often dull time of year this hoarse but cheery little ditty acts a welcome harbinger of spring. You will hcartheir song as often in the town as in the country.

female will seek out the area where they bred in the previous year. Therefore, the same pair will often breed year alter year in the same nest box. If one of the couple dies, then its place is very quickly taken over by a new bird. Males which have only recently come to sexual maturity will look for left-over nest boxes and holes and will attempt to entice sexually mature females who are still unattached.

hrom the time that the young arc ready to fly, up to the new breeding period in the following year, the male and female live entirely apart. Great tits very much prefer sheltered, out of the way places for breeding and arc fussy when it comcs to choosing a nest box. They appear to have trouble in making up their minds and the male often starts constructing nests with a little fern and moss in several boxes at the same time until the female finally decides on one particular box. Sometimes he will build in starling nest boxes, sometimes even in goldeneyc boxes, in which case he fills up the entire bottom of the box with moss and ferns and builds the nest bowl in one corner. 1 oncc found a great tit nest in a letter box, which was large and rectangular and provided with a lid which did not shut properly, leaving a chink through which the great tit could pass. The bottom was completely filled with green golden maidenhair fern and in one corner lay a nest bowl with ten eggs.

Hven though for most of the year great tits will live in the immediate vicinity of humans, and in winter will even feed from the hand, they are very cautious and sensitive to disturbance during the nest building and incubation periods and when the young arc newly hatched. The female is strongly attached to her eggs, but if she becomes frightened, she will leave the nest and not return, and this should always be kept in mind.

For the most part, great tits feed on insects which arc pests in gardens, parks, and woodland. Each day they eat 2.5 times theirown body weight in the form of insect larvae. When it has young, a great tit can clear 80 90% of the moth larvae on an infested fruit tree, thus saving the tree's foliage.

In 1962 there was a plague of pine moths along the cast coast of Sweden and many pine trees were killed off in spite of aerial spraying. No pine trees died in my nest-box area, even though there had been no spraying there. In that particular year, six pairs of great tits and 16 pairs of pied flycatchers bred in the area, and all of them had fed to some extent on the pine moths; the great tits did so almost exclusively.

A pair of great tits with 8 half grown young will consume around 1000 insect larvae per day. The two parents together provide food about 400 500 times pcrday, with an average of two larvae each time. So in the 19 days that the young were in the nest up to 19,000 larvae may have been eaten, giving a total of about 114,000 for six pairs.

The young of great tits need intensive care for the first 8 10 days of life, unlike young pied flycatchers which can manage without their mother's help by the second day. Without warmth from their mother's body, the small great tits will die, and during this period the male normally brings food to the female who then feeds the young.

Once the young have left the nest, they stay with their parents for about a month, but this period is shortened to two weeks if the parents produce a second brood. Thereafter, the young join up with flocks containing tits, warblers, and flycatchers.

Of all the tils, the great tit is the one most likely to shelter overnight in nest boxes in autumn and winter. If the great tits are to survive the cold winter nights, the nest box must be well insulated, and the hollowcd-out section of trunk (so-called block nest box) and wood-cement board are the two best materials. Research shows that even during mild winters, losses amongst great tits in their first year can be as high as 87%, and in adult tits around 25% (Kluijver, 1951).

Great tits arc non-migratory birds and only move within a limited area during winter. However, ringing has shown that some great tits do make long journeys. Continental ringed great tits occasionally even turn up in Britain.

In the nesting place, whether an old woodpcckcr nest or a nest box. he is rather a combative little beggar and almost always manages to secure some living quarters. Great tils often give way to pied flycatchers when they arrive in thespring, bui only once in 29 years have I seen a blue tit do this. On the other hand, they cannot manage the wryneck, which will sometimes throw blue tits out of their nest box.

The eggs hatch after 12 days incubation. For the first four days the young arc fed by the parents between 4am and 8pm on average every eight minutes, l ike other tits the blue tits have about ten breaks during the day, of 15 20 minutes each, which means that the pair provide 190 meals per day, cach consisting of at least two larvae. After the fifth day. the young receive feeds on average about every five minutes, the parents continuing to take breaks as before. For 14 out of the 18 days that the young spend in the nest, they thus consume at least 10,500 larvae, most of which arc harmful to w oodland or gardens.

In the final days, the young always sit and chirp at the entrance hole. Whenever the male or female returns with food, the young birds fr antically clamber over cach other to get at the meal. In 'All-year' nest boxes, where the entrance hole diameter is 3.5 cm, I have sometimes seen three small heads protruding at the same time. Therefore, to shut out other birds and only allow access to blue tits, the entrance hole should only be 2.8 cm in diameter. 041b061a72


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