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Varied Tit

From Opus

Photo by stuprice68 Location: Onuma, Hokkaido, Japan.
Photo by stuprice68
Location: Onuma, Hokkaido, Japan.
Sittiparus varius


[edit] Identification

It can reach a size between 11-14 centimetres depending on the subspecies. The wing length is 6.0 to 7.8 centimetres. In the nominate race P. v. varia the crown, the bill, the throat, the upper breast and the nape are black. Forehead, face, and cheeks are white. Back, wings, and tail are blueish grey. Mantle, lower breast, belly and undertail coverts are chestnut coloured. From the crown to the nape runs a thin white central line. Other subspecies have a darker hue at the back and at the cheeks. The feet are dark bluish-grey. Its call consists of tiny tones which sounds like tzu….tzu….tzu

[edit] Distribution

Japan, Korea, and locally in northeastern China and extreme southeastern Russia.

[edit] Taxonomy

This species has been placed in various genera in the family Paridae. Formerly, like most other tits, it was placed in Parus, later in Sittiparus, Cyanistes or Poecile. All three world lists now place it in the genus Sittiparus

Chestnut-bellied Tit, Iriomote Tit and Owston's Tit were formerly included in this species.

Six subspecies are recognised[1]:

  • S. v. varius on Kuril Islands, northeast China, Korea and main Japanese islands
  • S. v. sunsunpi on Tanegashima (Ryukyu Islands)
  • S. v. yakushimensis on Yakushima (Ryukyu Islands) (not recognized by Gill and Donsker)
  • S. v. amamii on Amami-O-Shima, Tokuno-Shima and Okinawa
  • S. v. orii on Daito Islands (Kita-Daito-jima, Minami-Daito-jima and Daito-jima)
  • S. v. namiyei on northern Izu Islands (To-shima, Nii-jima and Kozu-shima)

[edit] Habitat

Its habitat consists of open mixed forests, in particular with the Japanese castanopsis species Castanopsis cuspidata, Japanese Larch Larix kaempferi, coniferous forests with Japanese Yew Taxus cuspidata, Sugi Cryptomeria japonica, and pines Pinus as well as bamboo forests at mountain slopes and in river valleys.

[edit] Behaviour

The Varied Tit eats a mixed diet consisting of seeds, nuts and insects, namely caterpillars.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.1). Available at

[edit] External Links


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