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Wildlife in Italy: Codibugnolo Aegithalos caudatus L.

Wildlife in Italy: Codibugnolo Aegithalos caudatus L.



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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Passeriformi
Family: Egitalidi
Kind: Aegithalos
Species: caudatus

The Codibugnolo is a passerine of Eurasian origin; widespread in Europe. In the Alps it is found mainly in the valley floors, along rivers and streams, and in well-structured woods with bushy undergrowth. Going up, it becomes more and more rare until it disappears above 2,000 meters above sea level. Protected species, substantially stable despite being subject to periodic and accentuated fluctuations. There are three subspecies present in the Alps: A. caudatus italiae Jourdain, A. caudatus europaeus Hermann, A. caudatus caudatus L., the latter present only in winter and during migrations.

Long-tailed tit - Aegithalos caudatus L. (photo www.pnab.it)

Long-tailed tit - Aegithalos caudatus L. (photo www.pnab.it)

Distinctive characters

Length: head-tail 14-16 centimeters; tail 7-10 cm.
Wingspan 16-19 cm.
Weight 6-9 grams.
Plump and bench, it has pink and black speckles and a very long and graduated tail.

Biology

Sedentary-breeder, regular migrant and winter visitor.
It nests in March-May and lays 7 to 12 eggs. Normally one brood per year, rarely two. He lives no more than 8 years. It moves with short flights, from bush to bush, inspecting every leaf, every piece of bark, looking for insects with which it feeds. In winter, to protect from the cold, it swells the plumage and gathers in groups of 5 to a maximum of 18 specimens. These winter flocks are territorial and actively defend a common area of ​​about twenty hectares. Inside there are the dormitories, places to drink and various feeding areas, patrolled daily along fixed routes. With the arrival of spring, the group gradually dissolves giving rise to various couples who settle in different parts of the common area. Each, often helped by other specimens, is dedicated to the construction of an elaborate nest hidden among the bushes or leaning against the trunk of a tree: a large ball consisting of moss and lichen held together by spider webs, used as cement. Inside, a thick feather padding ensures the necessary warmth and protection. In this ball the reproductive cycle is completed until 5-7 children are hired. The bankruptcies however are very numerous, due to predators or adverse environmental conditions.

from Il Codibugnolo: a ball ... with wings
by Gilberto Volcan - Parkkeeper - Adamello-Brenta Natural Park www.pnab.it
Photos by Daniele Occhiato and Walter Zatta Colussi


Video: Long tailed Tits Aegithalos caudatus feeding on fat balls in a London Park (August 2022).