Sichuan Tit

Sichuan Tit
Sichuan Tit Poecile weigoldicus, Kanda Mountains, Qinghai, China. (Craig Brelsford)

Sichuan Tit Poecile weigoldicus is a close relative of Willow Tit P. montanus, in particular ssp. songarus, affinis, and stoetzneri, with which it has been considered to be a separate species, “Songar Tit.” Black-bibbed Tit P. hypermelaenus is also very similar and has an overlapping range. A Chinese endemic, Sichuan Tit is distributed from southeast Qinghai and western Sichuan to southeast Tibet and northwest Yunnan. HABITAT Coniferous forest and above tree line, between 2200 m (7,220 ft.) and 4310 m (14,140 ft.). ID & COMPARISON Cap dull black with brown tinge and no hint of crest. Black-bibbed Tit may show ragged rear crest and has glossy black cap. Large bib brownish-black; bib of Black-bibbed Tit is glossier black and better defined. Bib of the Marsh Tit in region (P. palustris hellmayri) is much narrower and covers upper throat only. Mantle, wings, and square-ended tail greyish-brown, not tinged olive-green, as Black-bibbed; pale fringes to secondaries form faint wing panel. White cheek patch narrow at base of bill, broadening toward nape. Underparts light grey-brown, with some individuals showing cinnamon wash on flanks; underparts of Black-bibbed have olive-brown wash. Black-bibbed is smaller than Sichuan and has slightly rounded tail. BARE PARTS Bill black; feet grey-black. VOICE Harsh, nasal calls, similar to Willow 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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