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Grey-headed Chickadee - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Siberian Tit; Taiga Chickadee; Alaskan Tit

Photo © by the late Jim Wood
Ivalo, Finland, March 2009
Poecile cinctus


13.5 - 14cm (5¼-5½ in). A medium sized tit .

  • Large, dark brown head
  • White cheeks
  • Brown mantle
  • Black wing feathers with pale fringes
  • White underparts
  • Pale brown flanks

Colours variable, birds from southern Siberia browner, birds from Taymyr Peninsula greyer. Sexes similar.

Similar species

May be confused with Boreal Chickadee in Alaska and Canada, but Siberian Tit is larger, has a whiter neck side, paler brownish-buff flanks and broader whitish edges on tertials.


Scandinavia and northern Asia, Alaska and the far northwest of Canada.

P. c. lathami; year-round
P. c. lapponicus; year-round
P. c. cinctus; year-round
P. c. sayanus; year-round
Maps/Texts consulted1, 2


Formerly placed in genus Parus as Parus cinctus; for a while the specific name of cincta was commonly used, but the world wide checklists are now using Poecile cinctus.


This is a polytypic species[3] consisting of 4 subspecies:


Conifer forests, mostly of old-growth spruce, especially in areas with dead trees.



Feeds on small invertebrates like bugs, moths, flies and others. Takes also seeds. Stores food in variety of caches and visits these caches in winter.


Breeding season from May to July. Pairs for life. The nest is placed in a hole (often old woodpecker holes) and made with wood, moss, animal hair and grass stems. Lays 4 to 11 eggs.


Adults are resident, young birds may wander around, flocking with Willow Tit.


  1. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553422
  2. Harrap, S and Qinn D. 1996. Tits, Nuthatches and Treecreepers. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0713639644.
  3. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.