• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Anyone seen willow tits visiting feeders? (1 Viewer)

Torchepot

Well-known member
United Kingdom
We have a pair of willow tits visiting our garden and I want to try and boost their chances of survival by supplementary feeding. They stubbornly refuse to visit our feeding station by the house so I figured I’d try feeding them in the area they seem to prefer.
I’ve never seen willow tits visiting feeders so wondered what seems to work elsewhere.
I’m curious about

1) Favourite foods
2) Feeders or tables
3) If feeders - which type

I seem to remember someone having success sprinkling seeds on an old tree stump and wondered if this more “natural” setting might be more attractive.

Incidentally we have embarked on an extensive willow, alder and birch planting scheme and also put up several “willow tit nest boxes” which have not been used so far. Considering that until fairly recently our land was just wet pasture it’s very encouraging that willow tits are already using it!
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Excellent news, good luck. I recall many years ago Willow Tits regularly coming to feeding stations including feeders - peanuts and sunflower hearts being the items favoured. Somewhere in the Midlands.
You've hit the nail on the head ; locate in quieter and natural area such as on or within the crevice of old tree stumps but hopefully where you can observe without disturbance.
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
The very few feeders I have seen Willow Tits coming to have been fairly low down under a mid height canopy, but that constitutes a very small sample size.
 

Jon Turner

Well-known member
They are regular visitors to the feeders around Lower Tamar Lake on the Devon/Cornwall border. There are feeders right outside the hide and they can be seen in small numbers with Marsh Tits to be able to make a direct comparison.
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
They'll visit feeders, but a word of caution - Blue and Great Tits are better at exploiting feeders, and putting up feeders will enhance their winter survival. This in turn means a higher likelihood of the Willow Tits being evicted by these bullies from their newly dug nests next year. Because nest hole excavation takes them so long, this likely means complete breeding failure for that pair for the year - by the time they have a new nest hole dug, it is too late to get a brood off.

Willow Tits are better at finding and utilising dispersed food sources, so you could try scattering food more widely, rather than putting up feeders.
 

Torchepot

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Don’t think there’s much I can do about the competition from other tits as all our neighbours, though fairly distant, feed them and we do too. I’m actually more worried about the high density of great spots here - five nests locally last year - as they are a well documented predator of willow tit nests. We’ve redisigned our feeding station to exclude them and it’s worked but they are still around.
I’m worried that if I do nothing and the willow tits disappear I’ll be kicking myself for not trying - but equally I don’t want to do the wrong thing.

Think I’ll try some low level seed dispersal and see what happens - watched them feeding on honeysuckle fruit today - so may put an old stump nearby and see if they visit.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
Willow Tits fairly common at my feeders in winter, though always outnumbered by Marsh Tits. They are happy with any of the feeders present - standard nut feeders, sunflower seeds, fat balls/suet, etc. Plenty of Great and Blue Tits too and many woodpeckers too of various ilk, they do okay among them.
 
Last edited:
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
Warning! This thread is more than 2 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top