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Black-throated Tit - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Red-headed Tit; Black-throated Bushtit

Subspecies A. c. iredalai
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Ranikhet, Altitude 6500 feet, Uttarakhand, Himalayas, India, 31 October 2022
Aegithalos concinnus

Includes: Grey-Crowned Tit


Subspecies annamensis
Photo © by Michael Hooper
Dalat, Vietnam, April 2018

10·5 cm (4 in)
A widespread and common long-tailed tit with marked geographical variation.

  • Rufous crown
  • Black throat-patch below white chin
  • Small whitish supercilium
  • Cool grey above
  • Whitish below with rufescent flanks
  • Pale yellow iris


  • Crown grey
  • No whitish supercilium, generally less white on head
  • Greyish-white below


  • Chestnut flanks
  • Chestnut lower breast band
  • Whitish central belly
  • pulchellus with grey crown, others with rufous crown

The sexes are similar, juveniles have paler caps.

Fledglings : black on throat is yet to appear
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Sattal Forest, Altitude 5500 feet, Uttarakhand, Himalayas, India, 7 April 2023


Map-Black-throated Tit.jpg
Found from northern Pakistan east along the Himalayas to India, Nepal, Bhutan and northeast India. Also in northwest Burma, northwest Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and much of southern China, including Hainan and in Taiwan.

iredalai-group; year-round
annamensis-group; year-round
nominate group; year-round
Maps/Texts consulted1


Subspecies concinnus
Photo © by MoonCake


Marked geographical variation. This species may represent an unresolved species swarm, further study is needed.
Six subspecies are recognized, forming three groups[3]:

  • iredalai-group:
    • A. c. iredalai from Pakistan east to northeast India. Some authors also accept rubricapillus in the central and eastern Himalayas.
  • annamensis-group:
  • nominate-group:


Broadleaved (especially oak) and mixed forest up to 2700m, but also recorded higher up.


This species is mostly resident. Some erratic and altitudinal movements are known.
Very gregarious foraging usually in flocks of up to 40 birds. Often joins mixed-species parties.


Photo © by Bananafishbones
Taiwan, March 2019

Feeds on insects. Also known to take small seeds and fruits.


Breeding season from February to May in China, March to May in the Himalayas. Single-brooded, sometimes with helpers. The nest is an oval ball made from lichen and moss, bound together with spider webs. It's placed in a fork up to 3m high or woven around twigs. 3 - 6 white or pale pink eggs are laid.


Psip-psip notes and a chrr-chrr, trr-trr.
The recording here gives summer song.

Recording © by Alok Tewari
Sat Tal Forest, Alt. 5500 ft above MSL, Uttarakhand Himalayas, India, April-2017

Recording © by Alok Tewari
A group foraging, feeding and calling/ occasional calls of Verditer Flycatcher are also heard.
Landour, Mussoorie, altitude 8000 feet, Dehradun, Uttarakhand Himalayas, India, 30 April 2024.


  1. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2008. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 13: Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553453
  2. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672
  3. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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