A bearded reedling in Elmley National Nature Reserve in Kent
© Mark Bridger/Offset by Shutterstoc
Life in the reeds
As temperatures drop, many migrant birds fly south - but not this bearded reedling. These songbirds are a resident species, which means most stay put in the marshes where they thrive. Their diet changes with the seasons: In the summer, they dine on reed aphids, while during the colder months, reed seeds sustain them.
These birds are also known as bearded tits, although they are not officially part of the tit family. They are also passerines – birds which have toes that are arranged in a way that is ideal for perching, even on thin reeds. This little chap - and we know he's a male due the distinctive black 'moustache' stretching down his face - is perching in the Elmley National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, one of England’s largest bird reserves.