Titmice And Chickadees Paridae

Class: Aves Order: Passeriformes Family: Paridae

Number of species: 55 to 58

species

CHAPTER

phylum class subclass order monotypic order suborder family

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Titmice and chickadees are perching songbirds that are small and compact with short, stout bills. The bill's shape can vary depending upon the habitat and the type of food the birds eat. In most species, the bill, legs, and iris (colored part of eye) are dark and dull. However, in a few species the iris is pale yellow. Generally, the birds have brightly colored, soft, thick plumage (feathers), with striking differences in plumage features depending on the species. In fact, many plumage differences occur within species if they have wide areas in which they roam. Females and males are similar in characteristics, with females usually a bit smaller than males. They are well adapted to living in trees, having short, rounded wings and tails, and short but strong legs and feet. Titmice (sometimes shortened to tits) and chickadees have little difference in size within the family. They are 3.9 to 8.0 inches (10.0 to 20.5 centimeters) and weigh between 0.2 and 1.7 ounces (5 and 49 grams).

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE

Titmice and chickadees are located in Europe, Asia, the far north and most parts of central and southern Africa, North America, and Mexico.

HABITAT

Titmice and chickadees are found in all habitats except those in the treeless Arctic zone, South America, the desert areas of Asia and Africa, and Australasia (region consisting of Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and the neighboring islands of the

South Pacific). Titmice and chickadees are specifically found in a wide variety of woodland areas from conifers and evergreen broad-leaved woodlands to deciduous broad-leaved woodlands. They are also found in parks, gardens, hedgerows, orchards, vineyards, open woodlands, and scrublands. The birds inhabit a range in altitudes from sea level to 14,764 feet (4,500 meters).

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