Titmouse

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(Redirected from Tit (bird))
Tits and Chickadees
Great Tit
Great Tit
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Passeriformes
Family:Paridae
Genera

see text

The tits, chickadees, and titmice, family Paridae, are a large family of small passerine birds which occur in the northern hemisphere and Africa. Most were formerly in the genus Parus; some recent authors have split this large group into several genera (as indicated below), which has been followed by North American ornithological authorities but not elsewhere.

On current evidence, only Pseudopodoces, Baeolophus, Melanochlora and Sylviparus are well supported as distinct genera from Parus (Harrap & Quinn, Tits, Nuthatches & Treecreepers, ISBN 0-7136-3964-4). The order in the list below follows Harrap & Quinn, with the incorporation of the recent split of Plain Titmouse into Oak and Juniper Titmice, and the addition of Hume's Ground Tit.

These birds are called "chickadees" (derived from their distinctive "chick-a dee dee dee" call) or "titmice" in North America, and just "tits" in the rest of the English speaking world. The name titmouse is attested from the 14th century, composed of the Old English name for the bird, mase (Proto-Germanic *maison) and tit, denoting something small. The spelling was influenced by mouse in the 16th century. "Chickadee" is onomatopoeic, i.e., sounds like the call of many North American species.

These are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects. Many species will live around human habitation and come readily to bird feeders for nuts or seed, and learn to take other foods. In England, Great Tits learned to break open the foil caps sealing bottles of milk that had been delivered to homes to get at the cream floating on top.

These are hole-nesting birds laying speckled white eggs.

In the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy, the Paridae family is much enlarged to include related groups such as the Penduline tits and Long-tailed tits.

Species

  • Hume's Ground Tit, previously Hume's Ground Jay, Pseudopodoces humilis
    (This species has only recently been removed from the Crow family Corvidae and placed into the Tit family.)cs:Skorovit

de:Meisen eo:Parida familio fr:Paridae lt:Zyliniai nl:Meesachtigen ru:Синица sv:Mesfglar uk:Синиця

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