Blue tit, 2007

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Pencil on paper drawing. 12" x 9". London. Greeting card reproductions of this image are available for purchase.
More text about the blue tit at the bottom of the page.

If you are interested, I have written more about this drawing on my blog.

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Original pencil on paper drawing: private collector, not available for purchase.

Image: Blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus, 2007. Copyright 2007-2008 Nicholas Judson. Pencil on paper drawing.

The Blue Tit, Cyanistes caeruleus (which has long been known as Parus caeruleus, but recent comparative analyses of mitochondrial DNA show that it is less closely related to other tits than originally thought), is an extremely acrobatic and curious feeder. It is often the first to be seen at newly erected bird feeders throughout Europe and Western Asia. When home delivery of milk was still common in the United Kingdom, Blue Tits became known for learning to peck through the foil caps of milk bottles, to sip the cream -- a trick they learned from each other. Like Great Tits, they don’t migrate and mainly inhabit woodland areas, but are also found in orchards, gardens, and parks. The birds usually have only one brood per year, nesting in holes in trees, walls, stumps, and in nest boxes. Typically they lay 7 to 12 eggs -- white with red-brown speckles -- which are incubated by the female for about two weeks, followed by about three weeks of feeding by both parents before fledglings leave the nest. The bird pictured here was seen at a bird feeder in central London.