Easy to recognise and much-loved, in the days when we had milk delivered to our doorsteps, the cheeky blue tits pecked the foil tops off the bottles to sup the cream.
Today, we seldom hear their old country nicknames: Tom tit, titmouse, Tommy bluecap, Billy biter, ox eye and blue yaup. Blue tits readily take advantage of nest boxes and raise substantial broods, though many youngsters fall prey to predators such as sparrowhawks, jays, cats, and greater spotted woodpeckers.
The latter frequently drill out wooden boxes to extricate chicks for a high protein snack. Though perhaps surprising, this is nature in the raw.
This blue tit had an extraordinarily elongated bill, but was seen in our garden throughout the winter and did not seem adversely affected by it.