Long Tail Tits: How can I attract them to my garden?

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Long Tail Tits: How can I attract them to my garden?

  • Hello, I'm new to the Community and thank the administration for approving my request to join. Having moved to my home recently, I'm in the process of making a wild bird sanctuary, hence joining your community to learn how to better do this. Not having any trees apart from a fig tree, I'm relying on feeders, and I went through a number of styles to deter Squirrels, Magpies, Crows, and Rats. In the last year I was able to host Gold finches, Green finches, house Sparrows, Dunnocks, Blue tits, Great tits, Doves, Pigeons, daily. Two Robins are considered resident. Occasionally the odd Jay, Green Woodpecker and several Starlings and Blackbirds will visit. I do not put out food on the ground, to deter rats. One day I saw a Long Tail Tit visit briefly, took one look at my feeders, examined the rose branch it perched on for food, and flew off without ever returning. Since then I started offering a few suet pellets in open trays on the feeder station pole, but of course it is quickly cleared by pigeons and doves. I'm reluctant to put out too much suet pellet food to avoid attracting too many pigeons and doves, as they scare the little birds away... How do you attract Long Tail Tits to your garden? What type of feeder do you use? What shrubs should I plant to give them a home and food? Thank you for reading this Mary
  • Hi Mary, welcome to the madhouse!

    I only have LTT visitors in the Winter months, usually just a pair to a piece of trellis which is part of climbing rose arch ... this is away from main feeding area & quite open & I hang mesh feeders containing suet pellets & home made pastry but I find their absolute favourite is the suet log feeder!

    Wish you luck!

  • Hello Wendy,

    Thank you so much for theses prompt suggestions - will certainly try them!

    All the best

    Mary

  • Hi Mary welcome to the community from Sheffield.

    I agree with Wendy that you may find suet pellets or log the favourite for the LTT,s.

    You will find even when there is food available they wont hang around, they seem to arrive in a flock have a quick feed and move on.

  • Thank you Alan,

    I shall be looking out for any that may visit! I've already ordered their food :)

    Best wishes

    Mary

  • I made this feeder but you can buy similar log feeders, I now put homemade pastry in them, basically cheap plain flour and lard mixed as you would make pie pastry but without salt.

  • Hello Mary and a warm welcome from me too (in Cheshire),  I can't really add anything more than the excellent suggestions already given by Wendy and Alan;  I also find the Long-tailed tits adore any fat/suet/pastry products and I also make homemade pastry using standard supermarket brand flour/lard or beef dripping,  adding a handful of mild cheddar cheese, suet pellets and a few kibbled peanuts to the mixture.  Try keep the pastry not too sticky, just bind with enough water to bring it together, store preferably overnight or for at least a couple of hours before you put it out (in order to give the gluten time to relax); you can place it into fat ball or fat cake feeders.   We have squirrels in the garden and also wood pigeons, stock doves, etc, so I use a free standing feeder pole fitted with a baffle dome beneath which keeps the squirrels away from the feeders.  I recently bought a new guardian feeder for fat balls which you can put fat-cake and pastry in to and the larger birds cannot access the food.  

    HERE is the guardian I purchased (for fat balls and fat-cake or pastry)  which is a bit pricey but worth it in the long run as it stops the large birds from raiding the food and I also have a similar guardian for mealworms and suet too  so it is only the smaller birds that can access it.     HERE is the suet or mealworm one.  

    Hope you enjoy your new home and garden and once you have a few quick growing shrubs I'm sure the birds will be flocking to your feeders.    This list of bird/wildlife friendly plants might give you some ideas.     Maybe a crab-apple or Rowan tree would help attract fruit and berry loving birds.     

    good luck and hope you enjoy this forum community.   

  • Dear Hazel

    Thank you so much for your confirming previous advice and especially for posting details of your approach.  As a beginner I have so much to learn from this community, I'm so grateful to you all for your responses.  I look forward to winter in a different way this year!  I hope to be posting some photos of my visitors.

    Many thanks and Kind Regards

    Mary

  • Hi Mary,  when I found this forum about 6 years ago, I had very little birding knowledge as I was only just getting into bird-watching and a new hobby of photography and since that time I have learned so much from being part of this Community with the help from members on here and picking up tips and ID help.  

    If we have a particularly cold winter this year we will see lots of birds being reliant on us to feed them;  I remember about 4 years ago I had the Long-tailed tits almost eating out of my hand !   I used to put bits of raw pastry in the shrubs and on the twigs for them and they eventually were out there waiting for me to appear each morning with the food, not hesitating to come down right next to my hand as I was putting the food out so fingers crossed you will get to experience these wonders of nature for yourself !  

    I look forward to any photos you may post, a lot of members on here combine their love of wildlife with photography.   Once again, welcome, as Wendy says, to the mad-house  !!!    

    edit:  I just found a couple of old photos showing the Long-tailed Tits taking pastry from the twig and my hand  !!

    shame about the bottoms up angle !! 

    they do love their raw pastry !!  

  • Hi Hazel,

    Oh yes! Photography too! Thank you so much!

    Kind Regards

    Mary