Tit Day in Russia Date in the current year: November 12, 2024

Tit Day in Russia Tit Day in Russia is celebrated on November 12. It was initiated by the Russian Birds Conservation Union and is closely linked to a Slavic folk holiday of the same name. The main goal of the holiday is to encourage people to feed tits during winter.

The most common species of tit in Russia is the great tit. Back in the day, the feast of Saint Zinovy and Saint Zinovia, observed on November 12, was known in Russian villages as Tit Day because people believed that on this day tits would migrate to wintering grounds. Interestingly, most great tits do not migrate unless winter is extremely harsh; they simply get closer to humans in winter in search of food.

Great tits have adapted well to human environments, and are among the most common birds in Russian cities and towns, alongside sparrows, pigeons, crows, ravens, wagtails, magpies, and jackdaws. The great tit has a distinctive appearance that makes it very easy to recognize: a black head and neck, white cheeks, olive upperparts and yellow underparts.

Like all tits, the great tit is a cavity nester. It usually nests in a hole inside a tree, or occasionally in a wall. Tits will readily nest in next boxes, which makes them popular among bird watchers and a valuable study subject for ornithologists.

The great tit mostly eats insects in summer, so it has no reason to get close to humans, since insects are plentiful during the warm months. Winter, however, is another story. When insects become scarcer in autumn and winter, great tits would also eat berries, seeds, and whatever they can find in bird tables.

Tit Day events are organized by the Russian Birds Conservation Union, other environmental organizations, nature clubs for kids, and volunteers who care about wintering birds. The easiest way to celebrate Tit Day is to make a bird feeder or a nesting box to make tits’ lives a little bit easier in winter. Foods that can be safely fed to tits include unroasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds, linseed, unroasted and unsalted peanuts, unsalted and unsmoked salo (pork fat), and millet.

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Tit Day in Russia, holidays in Russia, ecological observances, Russian Birds Conservation Union, great tit