This bird is found throughout Japan, in the mountains and in cities. It has white cheeks and a remarkable black pattern like a necktie on its white chest. It is less scared of people than sparrows, more active and moves quicker. This small bird is the one that begins to sing the earliest in the year. The male can be heard repeating his “Tu-pi” song in the beginning of the year. As spring approaches, he starts to repeat the song more often, and creates variations of it, such as “Tu-tu-pi.” The bird has various types of call, including its characteristic call “Ji-ji-ji-ji” with a husky voice.
Play birds singing
For those that think that the only birds living around you are sparrows and crows, we would like you to look out for this little bird. In the mountains or the forest, it moves around the ends of leafy branches, so you can watch the bird easier in a garden or a park. However, watching a bird with binoculars is not easy for beginners. The range of sight with binoculars is very narrow so it is difficult to catch a quick-moving bird and to focus on it. If you cannot focus the binoculars on a slow-moving bird, such as a heron or a duck in the open at the water’s edge, or a crow or a dove in the city, it will be difficult for you to watch small birds with binoculars or to photograph them in the forest. First, gauge where the bird is with the naked eye, and then put the binoculars to your eyes and watch it. That is the trick to using binoculars. If you can watch a Japanese Tit with binoculars, you can be called a good birdwatcher.
Since the sparrow mainly eats seeds it could be called the exception among small birds, whereas the Japanese Tit weighs around 15 grams and mainly eats worms, a common size and diet among small birds (the sparrow weighs more than 20 grams). In one textbook, the Great Tit, a close relative of the Japanese Tit, is given as an example of how small birds control the worm population, eating no less than 125,000 worms per year. According to some old German research, the dried food eaten in a year by one bird was estimated to be 1100 grams, a figure that was then converted into the number of young worms.
In a research study in Japan, the amount of energy consumed by the Japanese Tit in a day was estimated to be 15 kilocalories, which is equivalent to about 200 two-centimeter-long worms. These research studies show without a doubt that a great number of worms support the lives of small birds. Quick movement and flying require a lot of energy. However, since small birds must keep their weight light to fly, they eat frequently and defecate as soon after eating as possible.
Females as well as males have a greenish back and blue-colored wings and tail. They are very similar, but females have a narrower tie in the front.
Following its habit of nesting in a hole of a tree, the birds often use a nest box. Since moss is a common material used in nest building, the birds sometimes secretly make off with moss from gardens or potted plants in a town.