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Black-throated Tit

From Opus

Alternative names: Red-headed Tit; Black-throated Bushtit

Subspecies concinnusPhoto © by MoonCake Taiwan
Subspecies concinnus
Photo © by MoonCake
Aegithalos concinnus

Includes: Grey-Crowned Tit


[edit] Identification

Subspecies annamensisPhoto © by Michael HooperDalat, Vietnam, April 2018
Subspecies annamensis
Photo © by Michael Hooper
Dalat, Vietnam, April 2018

10·5 cm (4 in)
A widespread and common long-tailed tit with marked geographical variation.

  • Rufous crown
  • Black throat-patch below white chin
  • Small whitish supercilium
  • Cool grey above
  • Whitish below with rufescent flanks
  • Pale yellow iris


  • Crown grey
  • No whitish supercilium, generally less white on head
  • Greyish-white below


  • Chestnut flanks
  • Chestnut lower breast band
  • Whitish central belly
  • pulchellus with grey crown, others with rufous crown

The sexes are similar, juveniles have paler caps.

[edit] Distribution

Found from northern Pakistan east along the Himalayas to India, Nepal, Bhutan and northeast India. Also in northwest Burma, northwest Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and much of southern China, including Hainan and in Taiwan.

iredalai-group; year-round
annamensis-group; year-round
nominate group; year-round
Maps/Texts consulted1

[edit] Taxonomy

Subspecies iredalaiPhoto © by SumitEastern Himalayas, India
Subspecies iredalai
Photo © by Sumit
Eastern Himalayas, India

[edit] Subspecies

Marked geographical variation. This species may represent an unresolved species swarm, further study is needed.
Six subspecies are recognized, forming three groups[3]:

  • iredalai-group:
    • A. c. iredalai from Pakistan east to northeast India. Some authors also accept rubricapillus in the central and eastern Himalayas.
  • annamensis-group:
  • nominate-group:

[edit] Habitat

Broadleaved (especially oak) and mixed forest up to 2700m, but also recorded higher up.

[edit] Behaviour

This species is mostly resident. Some erratic and altitudinal movements are known.
Very gregarious foraging usually in flocks of up to 40 birds. Often joins mixed-species parties.

[edit] Diet

Feeds on insects. Also known to take small seeds and fruits.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season from February to May in China, March to May in the Himalayas. Single-brooded, sometimes with helpers. The nest is an oval ball made from lichen and moss, bound together with spider webs. It's placed in a fork up to 3m high or woven around twigs. 3 - 6 white or pale pink eggs are laid.

[edit] Vocalisation

Psip-psip notes and a chrr-chrr, trr-trr.
The recording here gives summer song.

Listen in an external program
Recording by Alok Tewari
Sat Tal Forest, Alt. 5500 ft above MSL, Uttarakhand Himalayas, India, April-2017

[edit] References

  1. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2008. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 13: Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553453
  2. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672
  3. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from

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