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Sombre Tit - BirdForum Opus

Photo by IvoZafirov
Western Bulgaria.
Poecile lugubris


  • Brown upperparts
  • Pink-brown underparts, becoming greyer with age
  • Dark brown cap and bib

Sexes similar
Juveniles duller


Southeast Europe including mainland Greece, resident on some Greek islands (Crete and Lesvos) and southwest Asia.


Traditionally placed in Parus, mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data suggests that that genus should be split, as already adopted by the American Ornithologists' Union for example. This species is part of the chickadee group which would then make up the genus Poecile. In Poecile, this species forms part of a group of apparently rather basal species, the relationships of which are ill-definied. They also include the Varied Tit and probably the White-fronted Tit (which were sometimes separated in Sittiparus), and possibly the White-browed Tit.
Caspian Tit was formerly included in this species.


  • P. l. lugubris
  • P. l. anatoliae
  • P. l. dubius
  • In western Iran, winters to northeast Iraq
  • P. l. kirmanensis
  • In southern Iran (mountains of Kerman region) - formerly included in Caspian Tit


Scattered bushes, especially on rocky hillsides.



It nests in holes in decayed trees, lined with fur, wood chips, or hair. The clutch consists of 5-7 red-spotted white eggs.


The diet inclues seeds, insects and caterpillars.


Call: zsit, and chev chev.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2013. IOC World Bird Names (version 3.5). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Avibase
  4. Wikipedia

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