Individuals differ consistently in their behavioural reactions towards novel objects and new situations. Reaction to novelty is one part of a suit of individually consistent behaviours called coping strategies or personalities and is often summarised as bold or shy behaviour. Coping strategies could be particularly important for migrating birds exposed to novel environments on their journeys. We compared the average approach latencies to a novel object among migrants and residents in partially migratory blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. In this test, we found migrating blue tits to have shorter approach latencies than had resident ones. Behavioural reactions to novelty can affect the readiness to migrate and short approach latency may have an adaptive value during migration. Individual behaviour towards novelty might be incorporated among the factors associated with migratory or resident behaviour in a partially migratory population.