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Encyclopedia > Parus
Tits and Chickadees
Great Tit
Great Tit
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paridae

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" 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, or onomatopoeic. The spelling was influenced by mouse in the 16th century.

These are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, which have 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.

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.


  • Marsh Tit, Poecile palustris (Parus palustris)
  • Black-bibbed Tit, Poecile hypermelaena (Parus hypermelaena)
  • Sombre Tit, Poecile lugubris (Parus lugubris)
  • Caspian Tit, Poecile hyrcana (Parus hyrcanus)
  • Willow Tit, Poecile montana (Parus montanus)
  • Songar Tit, Poecile songara (Parus songarus)
  • Carolina Chickadee, Poecile carolinensis (Parus carolinensis)
  • Black-capped Chickadee, Poecile atricapilla (Parus atricapillus)
  • Mountain Chickadee, Poecile gambeli (Parus gambeli)
  • Mexican Chickadee, Poecile sclateri (Parus sclateri)
  • White-browed Tit, Poecile superciliosa (Parus superciliosus)
  • Père David's Tit, Poecile davidi (Parus davidi)
  • Boreal Chickadee, Poecile hudsonica (Parus hudsonicus)
  • Siberian Tit or Gray-headed Chickadee, Poecile cincta (Parus cinctus)
  • Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Poecile rufescens (Parus rufescens)
  • Rufous-naped Tit or Black-breasted Tit, Periparus rufonuchalis (Parus rufonuchalis)
  • Rufous-vented Tit, Periparus rubidiventris (Parus rubidiventris)
  • Spot-winged Tit or Black-crested Tit, Periparus melanolophus (Parus melanolophus)
  • Coal Tit, Periparus ater (Parus ater)
  • Yellow-bellied Tit, Pardaliparus venustulus (Parus venustulus)
  • Elegant Tit, Pardaliparus elegans (Parus elegans)
  • Palawan Tit, Pardaliparus amabilis (Parus amabilis)
  • Crested Tit, Lophophanes cristatus (Parus cristatus)
  • Grey-crested Tit, Lophophanes dichrous (Parus dichrous)
  • White-shouldered Tit, Melaniparus guineensis (Parus guineensis)
  • White-winged Tit, Melaniparus leucomelas (Parus leucomelas)
  • Southern Black Tit, Melaniparus niger (Parus niger)
  • Carp's Tit, Melaniparus carpi (Parus carpi)
  • White-bellied Tit, Melaniparus albiventris (Parus albiventris)
  • White-backed Tit, Melaniparus leuconotus (Parus leuconotus)
  • Dusky Tit, Melaniparus funereus (Parus funereus)
  • Rufous-bellied Tit, Melaniparus rufiventris (Parus rufiventris)
  • Cinnamon-breasted Tit, Melaniparus pallidiventris (Parus pallidiventris)
  • Red-throated Tit, Melaniparus fringillinus (Parus fringillinus)
  • Stripe-breasted Tit, Melaniparus fasciiventer (Parus fasciiventer)
  • Acacia Tit or Somali Tit, Melaniparus thruppi (Parus thruppi)
  • Miombo Tit, Melaniparus griseiventris (Parus griseiventris)
  • Ashy Tit, Melaniparus cinerascens (Parus cinerascens)
  • Southern Grey Tit, Melaniparus afer (Parus afer)
  • Great Tit, Parus major
  • Turkestan Tit, Parus bokharensis
  • Green-backed Tit, Parus monticolus
  • White-winged Tit, Parus nuchalis
  • Black-lored Tit, Parus xanthogenys
  • Yellow-cheeked Tit, Parus spilonotus
  • Yellow Tit, Macholophus holsti (Parus holsti)
  • Blue Tit, Cyanistes caeruleus (Parus caeruleus)
  • Azure Tit, Cyanistes cyanus (Parus cyanus)
  • Yellow-breasted Tit, Cyanistes flavipectus (Parus flavipectus)
  • Varied Tit, Sittiparus varius (Parus varius)
  • White-fronted Tit, Sittiparus semilarvatus (Parus semilarvatus)
  • Bridled Titmouse, Baeolophus wollweberi
  • Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  • Juniper Titmouse, Baeolophus ridgwayi
  • Tufted Titmouse, Baeolophus bicolor
  • Black-crested Titmouse, Baeolophus atricristatus
  • Yellow-browed Tit, Sylviparus modestus
  • Sultan Tit, Melanochlora sultanea
  • 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.)

  Results from FactBites:
Florida Nature: Parus carolinensis - Carolina Chickadee (153 words)
Unless otherwise indicated next to the thumbnail images, all photographs were taken by Emily Earp or Josh Hillman and are copyrighted.
Parus carolinensis - This Carolina chickadee, carrying food in her beak, has just return to her makeshift nest about 8 or 9 inches into the hollow fence post that she's perched on.
Parus carolinensis - This is the same chickadee as in the above photo.
Parus Travel Agency - Uzbekistan and church, Christian churches, history. (1581 words)
Parus is made up of staff who follow the Christian world view and live moral lives.
We are glad to be of service to anyone who desires to visit Uzbekistan and ask that you follow the rules of morale living while visiting, first because we are Christians, secondly, because Uzbekistan is a predominantly Muslim country holding strict rules compared to the West.
Parus is also able to assist the development of Christian / Humanitarian projects in Uzbekistan.
  More results at FactBites »



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