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A photo of a Cinereous Tit (Parus cinereus)
Cinereous Tit

Cinereous Tit

Parus cinereus

The Cinereous Tit, a member of the Paridae family, is a small passerine bird that exhibits a charming blend of colors. Its back is cloaked in a modest grey, while its underside is a stark white. A distinctive black line runs centrally along its belly, a common trait within its genus. The bird's head is adorned with a black hood, complemented by a white cheek patch, and its wings boast a prominent white bar.

Identification Tips

When observing the Cinereous Tit, look for the broad black ventral line and the absence of a crest, which are key identifiers. The males and females are similar, though the female's ventral line is narrower and her colors slightly more subdued. The tail feathers are particularly telling, with the central four pairs edged in ashy grey and tipped in white, while the outermost pair is predominantly white with a black shaft.

Habitat

The Cinereous Tit is quite adaptable, making its home in a variety of wooded environments. It can be found flitting about in deciduous and mixed forests, as well as in gardens and urban areas that provide suitable nesting sites.

Distribution

This species has a broad range, stretching from parts of West Asia through South Asia and into Southeast Asia. It is a resident bird, meaning it does not typically migrate and can be observed in its range year-round.

Behaviour

Cinereous Tits are often seen in pairs or small groups, and they may join mixed-species foraging flocks. They are active foragers, gleaning insects from foliage and sometimes using their feet to grasp food items. They are also known to hammer seeds against bark to access the nutritious contents within.

Song & Calls

The vocal repertoire of the Cinereous Tit includes a whistling "titiweesi… titiweesi… witsi-seesee," which is often repeated in a series. This calling becomes more persistent during the breeding season, serving as a communication tool between mates and a territorial signal to other birds.

Breeding

The breeding season varies across their range, with some birds raising multiple broods. The Cinereous Tit nests in tree hollows or similar cavities, lining the nest with soft materials like moss, hair, and feathers. Clutch sizes typically range from 4 to 6 eggs, and both parents are involved in incubation and defense of the nest.

Similar Species

The Great Tit (Parus major) is similar in appearance but can be distinguished by its greenish back and yellowish underside, contrasting with the grey back of the Cinereous Tit.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Cinereous Tit consists mainly of insects such as caterpillars, bugs, and beetles. They also consume buds and fruits, demonstrating a varied diet that supports their energetic lifestyle.

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