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A photo of a Indian Black-lored Tit (Machlolophus aplonotus)
Indian Black-lored Tit

Indian Black-lored Tit

Machlolophus aplonotus

The Indian black-lored tit, also known as the Indian tit or Indian yellow tit, is a vibrant passerine bird belonging to the family Paridae. It is distinguished by its sizeable stature, measuring approximately 13 cm in length. The bird's plumage is characterized by a striking black line running down its yellow front, which is broader in males. Its head, including the large crest, neck, and throat, are adorned in black, contrasted with yellow cheeks and supercilia. The upperparts of this bird are an olive-green hue, while the wings feature two white or yellowish bars, and the outer tail feathers are white.

Identification Tips

To identify the Indian black-lored tit, look for the broad black line on the yellow underparts, more pronounced in males. The black head with yellow cheeks and the olive-green upperparts are also key features. The presence of two wingbars and white outer tail feathers can aid in identification. Females and juveniles are generally duller, and the underpart coloration may vary geographically, becoming duller from north to south.


This species thrives in open tropical forests across the Indian subcontinent, although it is notably absent from Sri Lanka.


The Indian black-lored tit is a resident breeder found predominantly on the Indian subcontinent.


An active and agile feeder, the Indian black-lored tit forages in the canopy, preying on insects and spiders. Occasionally, it may also consume fruit. When disturbed at the nest, this bird exhibits a defensive hissing behavior.

Song & Calls

The vocal repertoire of the Indian black-lored tit includes a variety of calls, with the most common being a "si-si" sound. Its song resembles a series of "chi-chi-chi" notes, which may remind one of a nuthatch.


Nesting occurs in holes, which may be naturally occurring such as those made by woodpeckers or barbets, excavated by the birds themselves, or even man-made cavities. The typical clutch consists of 3 to 5 white eggs, adorned with red spots. The Indian black-lored tit is known to be a dedicated sitter during the incubation period.

Similar Species

The yellow-cheeked tit is considered the closest relative to the Indian black-lored tit, and both may share a connection with the yellow tit. These species likely form a distinct lineage within their family.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Indian black-lored tit primarily includes insects and spiders, which it actively hunts in the forest canopy. It also supplements its diet with fruit on occasion.

Conservation status

The conservation status of the Indian black-lored tit is not explicitly mentioned in the provided content. However, as a common bird within its range, it may not currently be facing significant conservation threats.

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Indian Black-lored Tits on Birda


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