andrewktaylor's picture

Long tailed tit nest?

Observed: 18th January 2012 By: andrewktaylor
Long tailed tit nest?

Old fallen nest found on the ground in a scrubby garden area. Dimensions exactly like a typical long tailed tit nest, about 5 inches high, with opening near the top in the normal LTT way, just below domed roof. Only difference is external material used - dried grasses and leaves, rather than mashed-up fresh lichen which is what I've always seen before. Do any other British birds make enclosed, ovoid, domed nests like this? Or are LTTs less predictable than I thought?
Structure still very springy like LTT, and nest lined inside with white feathers. LTTs often seen in garden.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


David Jardine's picture

Nest identification

Not sure if this is a long-tailed tit. The items on the outer layer seem rather large and are usually pieces of lichen. I will do some investigations.

David Jardine's picture

What about Wren?

andrewktaylor's picture

Not sure about wren

Thanks David. My photo of the nest may be a bit misleading. I didn't get a very good angle. In the flesh (as it were) the nest is tall and thin and oval-shaped, with the opening very near the top. I haven't seen many wrens' nests - are they usually spherical or can they be oval too?

(I think the link you pasted may not have been the one you intended, it relates to an American species.)

I haven't found any good websites or books for nest identification. If anyone knows of any I'd be very interested - thanks.

AK Taylor

David Jardine's picture


The moment I posted it I realised it was american photo (but still a Troglodytes).


The more I think about this post the more I think it is a nest of a Wren. The loose structure, with the full leaves on the outside is typical and not found in Long-tailed tit which is tighter, lichen coated and held together with spiders' webs:

The new BTO field guide on monitoring nests has photos, but I haven't found a copy of it on line.

All the best


bobthebirder's picture


I would agree with wren as the most likely architect, but I don't think we can completely rule out a number of other species of small bird. Probably not a LTT though as they tend to use much finer material, as mentioned above.

Bob Ford