Video & Gallery: Carol nursing blue tit back to health

MEET Gilbert, the luckiest blue tit in the East!

Paul Geater

MEET Gilbert, the luckiest blue tit in the East!

He's the unlikely new assistant at one of the best-known shops in Ipswich after falling out of his nest and facing a bleak future.

Carol Lloyd found the youngster, with his four siblings, in the garden of her home at Boxted on the Suffolk/Essex border and realised he was in a bad way.


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She said: “Three of them were quickly tended by their parents and seem to have been okay but Gilbert and another smaller bird were abandoned, and it was clear that the parents weren't going to help them.

“The little one soon died, but I have been looking after Gilbert for the last ten days and he seems to be doing very well now.”

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Mrs Lloyd feeds Gilbert with high-protein kitten food and dried mealworms that can be bought at a pet shop - and he needs very regular feeds.

So she has to take him to work every day at Browne's menswear in Upper Brook Street where he has become a firm favourite with other staff.

Blue tits have become a favourite with television viewers who have been following their progress on television every night on the BBC's Springwatch programme - but Mrs Lloyd doesn't need any hidden cameras to keep tabs on Gilbert.

With Gilbert resting on her finger she said: “He seems very calm and content with his life - although he doesn't seem to like being shut in the box.

“I drive in with him in the car and he seems quite happy, sometimes having a look around, and he sits here quite happily.”

He was tired - not to say slightly dozy - after having a good meal.

Mrs Lloyd is keen for him not to get too tame - but she does have the knack of looking after stray birds.

“Four years ago I raised a woodpigeon after it was abandoned so I did know a bit about what to do but I hope that Gilbert eventually flies back into the wild,” she said.

Blue tit facts:

- There are an estimated seven million breeding blue tits in Britain ��- up to 15 million spend the winter here.

- Blue tits have clutches of between five and 12 youngsters.

- They fledge after between 15 and 23 days.

- The oldest recorded blue tit was 15 years old.

- They are one of the most common birds in Britain's gardens - they love food from peanut nets and bird tables.

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