Rufous-vented Tit

Rufous-vented Tit
Rufous-vented Tit Periparus rubidiventris whistleri, Sichuan, China, elev. 3,610 m (11,850 ft.), May. (Craig Brelsford)

A hardy bird of high altitudes, Rufous-vented Tit Periparus rubidiventris ranges from western Himalayas to China and north Burma. Bulk of distribution is southwest China, with beavani from southern Tibet and western Yunnan through western Sichuan to eastern Qinghai and east to southern Gansu and southern Shaanxi. Generally resident at altitudinal range of 2000 m (6,560 ft.) to 4500 m (14,760 ft.). HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Variety of forest types, from broadleaved temperate forests at lower altitudes to boreal conifer forests at higher elevations. Feeds mainly in canopy and in lower shrub layer, but can be found above timberline. Usually found in pairs or small parties; sometimes in mixed foraging flocks. Often tame. ID & COMPARISON Prominent black crest and black cap, white nuchal spot and cheeks, and black bib. Upperparts grey-blue; underparts grey, vent rufous. Rufous patch (sometimes hidden) on sides of breast. Juvenile duller with much smaller crest and yellow on cheeks. Coal Tit P. ater aemodius is smaller and has white double wingbar. Rufous-naped Tit P. rufonuchalis has more extensive bib. BARE PARTS Bill black; feet blue-grey. VOICE Wide variety of high-pitched, often complex calls, plus fast song reminiscent of Coal Tit. — 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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