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Stripe-breasted Tit - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Tom Tarrant
Ruhija, Bwindi NP, Uganda, January 2006
Melaniparus fasciiventer


14 cm. A large tit.

  • Black head, black extending onto centre of upper belly
  • Grey upperparts washed brown
  • Black wings with white edges
  • Black tail
  • White lower breast to flanks and undertail-coverts, duller or brownish on flanks
  • Black bill
  • tanganjicae male has head to breast browner with a obvious small black cap, blackish-grey on centre of throat down to belly stripe, underparts more heavily washed buffish
  • kaboboensis with more visibly washed bluish-grey upperparts and more darker grey underparts

Females with a browner head to breast and upper belly than male. Juveniles like adults but more sooty brown head to breast and tinged buffish or yellowish underparts.


Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Endemic to the Albertine Rift mountains.
Common to locally very common in its small range.


Formerly placed in genus Parus.
Three subspecies recognized:

  • M. f. fasciiventer in easter DRC, southwestern Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi
  • M. f. tanganjicae in eastern DRC (Itombwe Mts.)
  • M. f. kaboboensis in southeastern DRC (Mt. Kabobo)


Montane forests with bamboo and dense undergrowth, Highlands and mountains.
Occurs in Uganda at 1800-3400 m, in Rwanda widespread above 2300 m.


Usually seen in groups, probably family parties. Tame and approachable.


Poorly known. Feeds probably on small invertebrates and larvae. Nestlings are fed mainly with caterpillars.
Forages sometimes in mixed-species flocks with Dusky Tit and white-eyes.
Searches for food in upper levels of forest. Feeds in busy probing fashion among foliage.


Breeding season probably February to July. A monogamous species, possibly a co-operative breeder. All documented nests were placed in nestboxes. Lays 3 eggs.


A resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. 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

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