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Long-tailed Tit

From Opus

NominatePhoto by alex_2301Moscow, Russia
Photo by alex_2301
Moscow, Russia

Alternative name: Long-tailed Bushtit

Aegithalos caudatus

Includes: Silver-throated Tit



Very often will give the impression of a small fluffy circular ball with a long tail attached. Approximately 14 cm (5.5 inches) of which more than half constitutes its tail. Black and rosy-beige above and white below, with rosy-beige flanks. It has a white crown but populations differs in amount of black in head. Bill is very short.

Subspecies rosaceusPhoto by Andy Bright Hertfordshire, England
Subspecies rosaceus
Photo by Andy Bright
Hertfordshire, England

Juvenile/immature is darker and less glossy, lack rosy colors, and right after fledging, the tail is shorter.


Europe and Asia but not in tropical areas.


Vinaceus and glaucogularis from China are sometimes considered a full species, Silver-throated Tit (Aegithalos glaucogularis).


Nineteen to twentytwo subspecies are recognized by different authors:

Photo by ChockyExmouth, Devon, March 2011

Photo by Chocky
Exmouth, Devon, March 2011
  • A. c. passekii: Zagros Mountains (sw Iran)
  • A. c. glaucogularis: Central China (mountains of western Sichuan to Yangtze delta)
  • A. c. vinaceus: Northern and western China (Liaoning to Gansu, Qinghai and northern Yunnan)
  • A. c. magnus: Southern Korea and Tsushima Island (Kamino-shima and Shimono-shima)
  • A. c. trivirgatus: Japan (Honshu, Awa-shima, Sado and Oki); Cheju-Do Island (Korea)
  • A. c. kiusiuensis: Southern Japanese islands (Shikoku, Kyushu and Yakushima)


Deciduous woodlands with undergrowth.

Also wetland reed beds



Flight is short, whirring bursts and drops. Looks like a bouncing ball of fluff with a tail. Usually in flocks playing follow-my-leader from one patch of cover to another.

Seldom stays still for long, flitting about within a bush, chasing insects.


Woven nests containing spider webs and lichen are built in a tree or shrub. Up to a dozen eggs per litter.


Diet includes insects


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  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Beaman, M., S. Madge, K.M. Olsen. 1998. Fuglene i Europa, Nordafrika og Mellemøsten. Copenhagen, Denmark: Gads Forlag, ISBN 87-12-02276-4

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