Grey Crested Tit

Grey Crested Tit Lophophanes dichrous is a crested tit unusual for its lack of yellow or black pigmentation. Ranges western Himalaya to Shaanxi, with dichroides northeast Tibet and Qinghai across Min Mountains in northern Sichuan and southern Gansu to Qin Mountains in southern Shaanxi, wellsi western Sichuan and northern Yunnan, and nominate southern Tibet. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR A hardy, high-altitude, forest-loving species, in Sichuan breeding as high as 4500 m (14,760 ft.); in winter to 2000 m (6,560 ft.). In pairs or small mixed-species flocks, hopping along branches in middle and lower stories and (especially in winter) descending to ground. ID & COMPARISON Adult has grey erectile crest, grey upperparts with a white half-collar, and mottled grey cheeks. In nominate, half-collar extends into submoustachial stripe, and greyish throat contrasts with otherwise cinnamon-buff underparts. Ssp. dichroides and wellsi have more uniform throat and paler buff underparts. Juvenile has a shorter crest and is paler below. BARE PARTS Bill black; feet blue-grey or dark grey; iris reddish-brown. VOICE Quiet, with varied repertoire of thin calls and trilling songs. — Craig Brelsford

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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