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Black-browed Tit - BirdForum Opus

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Alternative names: Rufous-fronted Tit; Rufous-fronted Bushtit; Blyth's (Long-tailed) Tit; Himalayan Tit; Black-headed Tit

Subspecies A.i. iouschistos
Photo by Rajiv Lather
Bhutan, January 2008
Aegithalos iouschistos

Includes Rufous-fronted Tit and Burmese Tit



  • Tiny, fulvous tit
  • Buffy cheek and silvery throat-patch
  • Broad black mask
  • Broad buff coronal stripe
ssp bonvaloti
Photo by James Eaton
Lijiang, Yunnan, China, May 2010


  • White coronal stripe, palar, upper breast and vent
  • Smoky-grey chin
  • Paler sides and white belly


  • Pattern very like White-throated Tit
  • Buffy underparts
  • More white on throat and head than bonvaloti

Juveniles are much paler but already have the broad crown-stripes.


Map-Rufous-fronted Tit.jpg
Found from central Nepal east in a small band in the Himalayas to Bhutan and northeast India. In China in Sichuan and adjacent regions. Locally also in Burma (Mount Victoria and at northern boundary to China).

A. iouschistos (Rufous-fronted Tit); year-round
A. bonvaloti and A. obscuratus (Black-browed Tit); year-round
A. sharpei (Burmese Tit); year-round
Maps/Texts consulted1


ssp sharpei
Photo by martinuk
Nat Ma Taung (Mount Victoria), Chin State, Myanmar, February 2011

Four subspecies accepted which are sometimes split in up to three species:

  • A. i. iouschistos (Rufous-fronted Tit)
  • A. i. bonvaloti and A. i. obscuratus (Black-browed Tit or Black-headed Tit or Bonvalot's Tit)
  • A. sharpei from Mount Victoria (Burmese Tit or Myanmar Tit)

The three forms seem to be morphologically distinct and form a superspecies with White-throated Tit. No evidence of intergradiation or hybridization where ranges meet.


Boreal forests and temperate forests, especially rhododendron zone and low scrubby deciduous trees.


Outside the breeding season found in flocks of 10 to 40 birds, foraging through all heights of forest.
Resident with some altitudinal movement in winter.


Feeds on insects, larvae, sometimes on vegetable matter.


Breeds from April to July. The nest is a ball made of lichens and lined with feathers.


  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

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