• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

White-browed Tit-Warbler - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Severtzov's Tit-Warbler; Stoliczka's Tit-Warbler

Subspecies sophiae
Photo by Askar Isabekov
Almaty, Kazakhstan, February 2017
Leptopoecile sophiae


Subspecies obscurus
Photo by James Eaton
Reourgai, Sichuan, China, June 2011

8.5 - 10cm (3¼-4 in). A tiny, unmistakable bird with a relatively long, graduated tail.

  • Uncrested rufous crown
  • Broad pale supercilium
  • Brownish-grey mantle
  • Bluish rump and tail
  • Purplish flanks and vent

Males are richly coloured, females much duller.
Juveniles are duller and much paler, more pinkish below, the front of the face is white and the cap rufous.


The subspecies major and stoliczkae are much paler than the nominate and obscurus.


Found in the mountains of central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), the mountains of China and in parts of the Himalayas (Pakistan, India, Nepal). In winter also recorded in Uzbekistan.
Locally common but absent from some suitable areas and declining at least in Kazakhstan.


Subspecies sophiae
Photo by Askar Isabekov
Almaty. Kazakhstan, January 2017


Four subspecies recognized[1]:

  • L. s. sophiae in the mountains of southeast Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, in northwest China, northern Pakistan and northwest India
  • L. s. obscurus in the trans-Himalayan region of central Nepal, south and southeast Tibet, Qinghai east to southern Gansu and northwest Sichuan (China)
  • L. s. major in western China (western Xinjiang and northern Qinghai)
  • L. s. stoliczkae in western China (southern Xinjiang, western Qinghai and extreme western Tibet

These four subspecies can be divided in two groups, the darker nominate and obscurus and the paler major and stoliczkae. They might be ecological separated. If this can be confirmed a future split seems possible.


Subspecies L.s. major
Photo © by Dave Irving
Qinghai, China, June 2017

Montane forest, scrub and thickets.
In summer recorded up to 5000m, in winter also in plains (400-500m).



Feeds on small insects and spiders. In autumn and winter takes also berries and seeds.
An active and agile bird, foraging among herbs and shrubs, sometimes even on the ground.
After breeding season often seen in family parties and in winter occasionally in mixed-species flocks.


Breeding season in Tien Shan from mid-May to mid-June. The nest is an oval ball made of moss, thin stalks, spider cocoons, lichen and other plant material. It's usually well concealed in scrub and often placed low above the ground. Lays 4 to 8 eggs.


In parts of its range resident, in others winter dispersal recorded, especially in hard winters.


  1. 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/
  2. 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
  3. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672

Recommended Citation

External Links