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Aves, 49/4 | 2012 | 193-204

  The influx of Nordic Long-Tailed Tits Aegithalos caudatus caudatus in Wallonia and Brussels during the winter 2010-2011
Alain De Broyer

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Article summary

During the autumn 2010 and the following winter, there was an exceptional influx of Nordic Long-Tailed Tits Aegithalos caudatus caudatus to Belgium and neighboring countries. This article describes the phenomenon as it occurred in Wallonia and Brussels. Habitually this subspecies is restricted to North-Eastern Europe.In Wallonia and Brussels, the first individuals were reported in late October 2010. From then on, reports − of groups of two to twelve individual birds - increased. From February 2011, the numbers of observations began to tail off, and the last observations date from April 2011.A total of 475 individuals have been identified as A. c. caudatus by observation or ringing.Observations were spread more or less uniformly across the region, but with the greater number of observations coming from densely populated urban areas – reflecting, no doubt, the distribution of human observers.Given the fact that until autumn 2010 the Nordic Long-tailed Tit was not even on the Belgian official list of bird taxa observed in the wild, this phenomenon of sudden arrivals is all the more remarkable.

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