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Moment two male blue tits come to blows in battle over territory that leaves one missing an EYE 

A Scottish photographer has captured the rare moment two blue tit’s fought – with one of them losing an EYE.

Scott Williams, 54, took these pictures in a local park in Ayr, Scotland, after spotting the two birds coming to blows.

Experts have said Blue Tits begin pairing up for brooding season in mid-February and the competition for mates and the best nesting sites can get fierce. 

Scott had visited the park to snap some of the local wildlife and managed to spot the pair whilst looking down his lens.

The pictures show the two blue tits squabbling on the floor as one of them is pinned down by the other.

Photographer Scott explained: ‘I was trying to photograph some birds in flight and noticed these two birds having a squabble in-flight.

Pictured: this is the moment two male blue tits face off in a vicious battle as competition for the best nesting sites heats up

Pictured: this is the moment two male blue tits face off in a vicious battle as competition for the best nesting sites heats up

Pictured: this is the moment two male blue tits face off in a vicious battle as competition for the best nesting sites heats up

Photographer Scott Williams, 54, captured the rare moment while out walking in a local park in Ayr, Scotland, to take pictures

Photographer Scott Williams, 54, captured the rare moment while out walking in a local park in Ayr, Scotland, to take pictures

Photographer Scott Williams, 54, captured the rare moment while out walking in a local park in Ayr, Scotland, to take pictures

The 54-year-old spotted the pair fighting mid-air before they landed on the ground, allowing him to capture the phenomenon

The 54-year-old spotted the pair fighting mid-air before they landed on the ground, allowing him to capture the phenomenon

The 54-year-old spotted the pair fighting mid-air before they landed on the ground, allowing him to capture the phenomenon

‘They landed in a furious ball of feathers and I laid on the ground to try to get a good angle of the birds.

‘The fight itself lasted for a good couple of minutes and was ferocious.

‘I am pretty sure from the last photo that one of the birds lost an eye.

‘I must admit, I thought one of the birds wouldn’t survive the fight but thankfully they both flew off at the end’.

Blue tits have been known to become aggressive at this time of year as competition for nests and mates gets fiercer.

Paul Stancliffe, an ornithologist with the British Trust for Ornithology, said: ‘As we head into the breeding season competition for a mate and the best nest sites intensifies, which results in male Blue Tits fighting for both.

‘Blue Tits begin pairing up around mid-February and right now will be prospecting for nest sites, however, there will be unpaired males, possibly the young from last year, that will need to compete as the breeding season moves forward or miss out on a breeding attempt this year.

‘Blue Tits are single brooded birds and only have the chance to breed once a year – they are also not very long-lived birds, so missing a year could be costly.’

Scott believes one of the blue tits may have lost an eye during the fight but says they were both able to fly off at the end

Scott believes one of the blue tits may have lost an eye during the fight but says they were both able to fly off at the end

Scott believes one of the blue tits may have lost an eye during the fight but says they were both able to fly off at the end

Experts say blue tits may fight at this time of year as the competition for mates and the best nesting sites intensifies

Experts say blue tits may fight at this time of year as the competition for mates and the best nesting sites intensifies

Experts say blue tits may fight at this time of year as the competition for mates and the best nesting sites intensifies

Blue tits begin pairing up around mid-February and right now will be looking for the best nesting sites as well as partners

Blue tits begin pairing up around mid-February and right now will be looking for the best nesting sites as well as partners

Blue tits begin pairing up around mid-February and right now will be looking for the best nesting sites as well as partners

According to the RSPB, blue tits are lively, attractive little birds that live in wooded areas and regularly turn up in gardens, particularly if there are peanuts on offer.

The vivid blue cap sets this bird apart from other tits, making it relatively easy to identify.

Each year, blue tits produce just one brood of chicks and they do so to coincide with the greatest abundance of caterpillars.

Experts say it’s a clever strategy really, making sure there is plenty of food around to feed the chicks, but if the brood fails, there is no second chance. 

An RSPB spokesperson said: ‘These are incredible pictures, capturing what looks like two males involved in a territorial fight.

‘Blue tits are one of the most lively and attractive visitors to our gardens with their vivid blue and yellow plumage.

‘They are so petite they can seek out food on the very thinnest tips of branches, unlike some other birds such as great tits. But these dainty-looking birds are notoriously feisty, fiercely defending their territories.’

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