Fearsome predator ofinsects, the tit remains all year round in our regions. Its sedentary lifestyle makes it an ally of choice for the gardener. Do you want to protect your vegetable garden or simply admire its joyful ballet in summer and winter? 5 tips, tips and tricks for inviting this pretty bird in your garden.
Why attract chickadees to your garden?
The tit likes to delight in all the little ones parasites that populate our gardens. During the nesting period, a pair can capture up to 500 insects per day to feed its chicks to which are added those it consumes itself. The chickadee rids the gardener of all unwanted : caterpillars, aphids, flies, spiders, bugs, beetles … A true natural insecticide, the passerine is a valuable aid for cleaning orchards and vegetable gardens.
1 – Make plantations to accommodate the tits
The chickadee thrives in large trees hardwood where she feels safe: oak, poplar or laurel. Risking little on the ground, the sparrow also frequents living hedges of thorny fruit species such as blackthorn, hawthorn or rosehips which guarantee protection against predators and food in winter. You can also plant plants that produce fruits or seeds that the bird loves: yew, corm, blood dogwood, European spindle, cherry, snowberry, privet. For a tit at black head, prefer a pine or a balsam fir. An obier viburnum or elderberry will appeal to the charcoal. Finally, the tit blue will appreciate plants such as lavender and mint whose scent repels parasites, thus protecting its nest. Trick : a garden not too mowed will attract the caterpillars and aphids which these birds are very fond of.
2 – Place feeders in winter for the tits
The tit remains sedentary in regions where winters are not too harsh. You can help him endure the bad season by serving him his pittance from October to March, and more particularly during cold episodes marked by snow cover or prolonged frost which make inaccessible its natural foods. Offer him a metal feeder that you will clean regularly to prevent disease transmission. Thing : the store offers distributors with hanging tank which have two advantages: limiting waste and staying clean.
Recommendations to position the feeder:
- On a branch or a pole in a place open that does not hide a predator;
- Close to a leafy in which the titmouse can peacefully taste the seeds;
- At a height of 3 meters;
- Away from places exposed to winds.
To note : it is not recommended to feed the birds in summer because many of them adopt a diet insectivorous. Not only are the chicks exclusively fed on animal prey which provides them with the proteins essential for their growth, but they must also learn to feed themselves to guarantee their survival.
3 – Offer the titmouse its favorite food
Chickadees gladly supplement their insectivorous diet with foods of plant origin. Here’s how to make them happy:
- The seeds Chickadees are favorite foods, especially sunflower and (unsalted) peanuts. No matter where you scatter them – bird feeder, balcony or window sill – birds will flock. These seeds provide energy in the form of starch which allows them in particular to retain their body temperature in winter ;
- The tallow balls are highly prized by chickadees. You will easily find them in stores or you can make them yourself with vegetable fat (like margarine without additives and without salt) or with pork or beef tallow. You will mix it with various kinds of seeds (watermelon, melon, sunflower, hemp), grains (wheat, barley, oats, millet), broken nuts and unsalted peanuts to which you can add oatmeal and raisins ;
- The fresh fruits are a delicacy for chickadees, which are very sensitive to the smell and flavor of these products. Apples and pears cut into pieces will delight them. Thing : you can make the apples and pears in the form of garlands by threading the quarters like beads on a wire.
- To guarantee a complete meal during the cold season it is possible to add mealworms dehydrated in their feeder as well as walnuts, hazelnuts and pieces of bacon. Do not give away your leftovers because some foods can be dangerous for the bird.
4 – Install nesting boxes to attract chickadees
Placing small nesting boxes in your garden will allow chickadees to protect themselves from severe weather or to spend the night in winter. Be sure to secure the equipment against the arrival of predators (cats or magpies). It is recommended to fix the nest box against a tree trunk or a wall, more than 3 meters high, in a quiet place and free from wind. Whenever possible, position your nesting box to the south to provide the warmth of the sun to the tits. Make sure that the opening is protected from the rain. If you are making the birdhouse yourself, avoid painting or treating the wood as the chemicals could poison the birds.
5 – Give water to the titmouse, summer and winter
The titmouse needs to drink and bathe in all seasons. She will like to quench her thirst during the hot summer months as well as in winter, when her usual water points will have frozen. On the other hand, the bird likes to clean its feathers and then snort to better fly. A bowl, a ramekin, a flowerpot or planter coasters filled with a few centimeters of water will bring the little sparrows. Place the container on a window sill or in a sheltered location, side South to prevent the water from freezing too quickly. Remember to renew the water regularly. Trick : why not develop a small pond in your garden? You will delight chickadees and a host of fellow creatures who will cheer happily under your windows!