BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild October -

An at­trac­tive yet in­ac­cu­rately named bird, bearded tits are nei­ther bearded nor a tit. The males are ac­tu­ally mous­tached (think wrestler Hulk Ho­gan) and the species’ clos­est rel­a­tives – sur­pris­ingly – are now con­sid­ered to be larks. Oc­to­ber is prime time for watch­ing bearded reedlings (as they are prop­erly known) in their favoured reedbeds. With breed­ing com­plete, fam­i­lies be­come less se­cre­tive and flock to­gether. ‘Beardies’ also change their diet, switch­ing from in­sects to reed seeds. To aid di­ges­tion, they take in grit – of­ten from grit trays in­stalled by savvy re­serve war­dens.

TOP TIP Lis­ten for the birds’ ring­ing ‘ching, ching’ calls.

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