Surprisingly or not, there are also magnificent animals on the territory of Russia, which in beauty can compete with the most impressive species. An example of this is a long-tailed tit, or a militia, living in vast regions of Asia and Europe, as well as in Siberia and the territory of the former USSR.
She got her second name, the lieutenant, thanks to her appearance. The long-tailed titmouse looks like a fluffy ball with a long tail, resembling a spoon for pouring the same name. By the way, the bird is not so big - the length of its body without a tail is only 6-7 centimeters, and its weight barely reaches 10 grams. Despite its small size, the long-tailed tit has mastered large areas.
These are very friendly birds that never quarrel with other species. Long-tailed tits really do not like loneliness, so most often they can be found in flocks. These birds even sleep together, sitting close to each other on branches and thus keeping warm. Among other things, long-tailed tits are skilled craftswomen. They create very durable and beautiful nests from moss or lichens, lining them abundantly with feathers and wool. Beautiful life for a beautiful bird!
Features and habitat
Impossible to take your eyes off the militia in the photo, looks very cute and interesting. The average total length of the bird is about 14-15 cm. It weighs very little - less than 10 grams. The plumage is predominantly white. On the back are black shades, and the sacrum is reddish-brown. On the abdomen and sides, a pale pink-brown color is clearly visible. The female is almost impossible to distinguish from the male.
Usually she is a little paler than him. In young militia, before they fade the feathers are slightly grubby, brownish spots are clearly visible on their forehead and cheeks. There are subspecies of these wonderful birds in which brown spots remain in adulthood. For example, a Caucasian militia.
In the photo, a Caucasian bird ladle
This cute and neat creature, despite the fact that it is widespread, very rarely catches the eye. In autumn seasonal migrations, their flocks attract attention. In the summer, however, couples of militiamen try to stay very secretive, prefer inaccessible places, thin coastal willow thickets, forest swamps with small birch, alder and vine, raw overgrown ravines.
Closer to the mountains in the Caucasus, they prefer beech forests, blackberries and even orchards. In Transbaikalia, the favorite place of the militia is the area along the mountain rivers. They do not like crowded parks in cities; it is almost impossible to meet them there.
Led by the militia throughout Europe, In Russia, Ukraine, in the mountains of Crimea, in the Caucasus, in Siberia. You can not call them migratory birds. Only in the northern regions do the militiamen try to migrate in the winter a little to the south. And with the advent of spring, they quietly return to their place.
Character and lifestyle
The guards are very mobile and fussy. By this temperament and their delicate squealing, they strongly betray their belonging to the genus of tits. From August to September, flocks of these little fluffy balls roam the forests, trying to rummage through the tree tops. Their wavy flight resembles a wagtail. They rarely descend to the lower branches of trees. Their small beak is not able to get the insect out of the bark of the tree and peck it.
Guards are not very shy. They calmly tolerate the presence of an outside observer. You can approach a flock of these birds at a distance of 3-4 meters. Rarely in nesting places, but there are times when these birds sit on the hand of an observer. They can arrange their nests both high on a tree and low in the bushes.
The jack looks artful. It is built of moss, cobwebs, cocoons of insects, various fibers and stems. To camouflage the outside, the birds cover their nest with the bark of the tree next to or on which it is located. Because of this disguise, it’s almost impossible to make out the nest of the militia. Inside the nest, birds are insulated with hair, feathers and wool.
Pictured bird's nest
These are very peaceful birds. In their flocks it is never possible to see any fights and struggles that are often found among the great tits. In captivity, they quickly get used to people and behave next to them quite calmly. They care and are very gentle to each other and never attack representatives of other birds. It is important to know that the guards do not tolerate loneliness at all. It is important for them to be either paired or in a flock.
Due to their dexterity, the militia quickly flutter along thin branches and collect small insects and their testicles on leaflets and kidneys, swallowing this whole food. Their favorite delicacy is aphids. By eating them, they bring great benefits to the forests. In winter, when food is not particularly good, these birds can eat tree seeds.
Reproduction and longevity
In March, important events in life took place at the militia - couples formed among them. All April they build nests, which are a masterpiece. Both male and female are involved in hatching eggs. It lasts about two weeks. After this time, small and completely defenseless chicks are born.
There can be about 15 in their nest. After another two weeks, the kids fledge and become like their parents. Now it is possible to distinguish a young chick from an adult only by their grimy forehead and cheeks and short tail. Longevity Life Guards about 8 years.
0:03 - calls and songs-skips. Moscow region, October. Recorded by Goretskaya M. Ya.,
0:38 - a skipping song. Moscow region, March. Recorded by Veprintseva O. D.,
0:41 - a skipping song. Sverdlovsk region., March. The author of the recording is Ryabitsev V.K.,
0:48 - the urge. Moscow region, May. Recorded by Veprintsev B.N.,
1:07 - the calls of the Ryazan region., March. Recorded by Veprintsev B.N.,
1:30 - the urge. Background - warbler and other. Tomsk region., June. The author of the recording is S. Gashkov,
1: 54-2: 07 - a couple with a flying brood. Background - cricket. Chelyabinsk region., June. Recorded by - Ryabitsev V.K.