Rufousbellied tit

Parus rufiventris

SUBFAMILY Parinae

TAXONOMY

Parus rufiventris Barboza du Bocage, 1877. Three subspecies. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Cinnamon-breasted tit; rufous tit; French: Mésange à ventre cannelle; German: Rostbauchmeise; Spanish: Herrerillo de Vientre Rufo.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

6 in (15 cm); an attractive species with a black head, dark gray upperparts and breast, black tail, and rufous belly. The iris is a distinctive yellow in the adults; sexes similar.

DISTRIBUTION

P. r. rufiventris: western and central Africa (Angola, Zaïre, Zambia); P. r. maskukuensis: central Africa (Zambia and Malawi); P. r. diligens: western Africa (Namibia and Angola).

HABITAT

Main habitat is miombo woodland, which is moist savanna-woodland of Brachystegia. Also found in other woodlands similar to miombo woodland, dry evergreen forests and drier

savanna-woodlands. Typically found from 1,969-6,562 ft (600-2,000 m).

BEHAVIOR

Resident. May hold territories during breeding season, but recorded in mixed-species flocks in winter. As with most tits, the song is simple, but a variety of calls are used.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Forages mainly among twigs and leaves on the outer-most parts of trees in the mid and upper canopy. Diet is invertebrates, especially moth larvae.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Poorly known. Nests in holes in trees or stumps, but does not excavate own hole. Breeding season September to November. Clutch size is three or four eggs. Nothing is known of incubation or brood period. May have a cooperative breeding system.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. A widespread species considered common throughout most of range, although probably rarer in southern areas of range.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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