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LONG-TAILED TIT
Aegithalos caudatus
Long-tailed Tit © Tommy Holden
Conservation listings

Europe: no SPEC category, secure
UK: Green

Long-term trend
UK, England: moderate increase
 
Status summary
This species tends to undergo large-scale fluctuations in numbers, suffering heavy mortality when winters are severe, but able to recover quickly by virtue of its high breeding potential. Much of the increase in the CBC/BBS trend took place prior to 1975, perhaps as a recovery from the cold winters of the early 1960s. It is therefore not reflected in the 25-year trend, which is perhaps best described as 'fluctuating, with no long-term trend'. Both CBC/BBS and CES index trends show increases in Long-tailed Tit abundance since the mid 1980s, but BBS data suggest little change since 1994. Improvements in nesting success at the egg stage - 19 days, comprising 13 days incubation and 6 days laying - have accompanied the recent increase, but clutch and brood sizes have been smaller. The trend towards earlier laying may be explained by recent climatic changes (Crick & Sparks 1999).
 
CBC/BBS UK graph
 
Table of population changes for Long-tailed Tit
Source Period
(yrs)
Years Plots
(n)
Change
(%)
Lower
limit
Upper
limit
Alert Comment
CBC/BBS UK 33 1967-2000 257 84 27 160    
  25 1975-2000 308 11 -10 37    
  10 1990-2000 550 24 14 35    
  5 1995-2000 803 6 0 14    
CBC/BBS England 33 1967-2000 228 81 29 168    
  25 1975-2000 272 9 -9 39    
  10 1990-2000 486 22 10 33    
  5 1995-2000 707 2 -5 10    
CES adults 17 1984-2001 74 39 . .    
  10 1991-2001 91 16 . .    
  5 1996-2001 93 3 . .    
CES juveniles 17 1984-2001 66 20 . .    
  10 1991-2001 84 11 . .    
  5 1996-2001 87 3 . .    
BBS UK 8 1994-2002 630 -3 -13 9    
BBS England 8 1994-2002 554 -12 -21 -1    
BBS Wales 8 1994-2002 47 29 -17 102    
BBS acknowledgement
 
CBC/BBS England graph
CES adult abundance graph
CES juvenile abundance graph
BBS UK graph
BBS England graph
BBS Wales graph
 
Table of productivity information for Long-tailed Tit
Variable Period
(yrs)
Years Mean
annual
sample
Trend Predicted
in first year
Predicted
in last year
Change Comment
Clutch size 33 1968-2001 32 Linear decline 7.65 eggs 6.57 eggs -1.08 eggs  
Brood size 33 1968-2001 27 Curvilinear 6.79 chicks 6.32 chicks -0.47 chicks Small sample
Daily failure rate (eggs) 33 1968-2001 51 Curvilinear 0.0322 nests/day 0.007 nests/day -0.0252 nests/day  
Daily failure rate (chicks) 33 1968-2001 36 Linear increase 0.0077 nests/day 0.0164 nests/day 0.0087 nests/day  
Laying date 33 1968-2001 42 Curvilinear day 109 day 95 -14 days  
Percentage juveniles (CES) 17 1984-2001 80 Smoothed trend 102 productivity index 101 productivity index -2%  
Percentage juveniles (CES) 10 1991-2001 98 Smoothed trend 103 productivity index 101 productivity index -3%  
Percentage juveniles (CES) 5 1996-2001 100 Smoothed trend 98 productivity index 101 productivity index 2%  
 
Clutch size graph
Brood size graph
Egg nest failure graph
Chick nest failure graph
Laying date graph
CES productivity graph
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This report should be cited as:
Crick, H.Q.P., Marchant, J.H., Noble, D.G., Baillie, S.R., Balmer, D.E., Beaven, L.P., Coombes, R.H.,
Downie, I.S., Freeman, S.N., Joys, A.C., Leech, D.I., Raven, M.J., Robinson, R.A. and Thewlis, R.M. (2004)
Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2003.
BTO Research Report No. 353. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends2003)

Pages maintained by Susan Waghorn and Iain Downie: Last updated 16 February, 2009