GUIDE TO BIRDS OF ARMENIA

Sombre Tit

Adult bird. Photo: P. Stepanek

Latin name: Poecile lugubris

Latin name: Poecile lugubris

Family name: Tits 

Family name: Tits 

The Sombre Tit is the inhabitant of juniper woodlands of Southern regions of Armenia. It finds the nesting places in the cavity of the juniper trees and stays in this areas year-round, sometimes making a little vertical migrations to lowlands. In the last decades the species was observed moving further north, which could be linked to the climate change. This species seems to be adaptable to live near human, as often occupies edges of orchards and even makes the nests inside the iron pipes – a habit typical for other Tit species. As other tit species it feeds on insects in summer and switches the food on the seeds in winter.

The Sombre Tit is the inhabitant of juniper woodlands of Southern regions of Armenia. It finds the nesting places in the cavity of the juniper trees and stays in this areas year-round, sometimes making a little vertical migrations to lowlands. In the last decades the species was observed moving further north, which could be linked to the climate change. This species seems to be adaptable to live near human, as often occupies edges of orchards and even makes the nests inside the iron pipes – a habit typical for other Tit species. As other tit species it feeds on insects in summer and switches the food on the seeds in winter.

Conservation status

The number of Sombre Tit in Armenia is stable and the slight expansion to the north was noticed. Despite on that this narrow-ranged species with low density remains vulnerable towards changes of ecosystem, and to protect it, it is necessary to set up protection regime to entire range of the Sombre Tit in the country.

The number of Sombre Tit in Armenia is stable and the slight expansion to the north was noticed. Despite on that this narrow-ranged species with low density remains vulnerable towards changes of ecosystem, and to protect it, it is necessary to set up protection regime to entire range of the Sombre Tit in the country.

More specific information about this species

Habitat

Inhabits dry juniper woodlands and mixed juniper/broad-leaf woodlands of southern Armenia, at the elevation range from from 1000 to 1800 m a.s.l.

 

Food & Feeding

Small invertebrates and larvae, including beetles, grasshoppers, bugs, flies, bees and wasps. Usually in pairs in breeding season; often in small groups in autumn and winter. Shy and unobtrusive. Forages in lower branches of trees and shrubs, occasionally briefly on ground, but usually returns to bush or branches of tree with food items. Climbs tree trunks like a nuthatch, and occasionally pursues insects in flight in manner of flycatcher. Food items held in foot and hammered open with bill, also seeds wedged in bark before being opened.

 

Breeding

Season is from March to early August; mostly single-brooded. Monogamous and territorial, however the conflicts happen rare. Male courtship-feeds female, display includes wing-shivering and begging calls. Nest, built by female, a cup of wool, plant material, bark strips, animal hair and feathers, placed in hole in tree; known to use nestboxes. Clutch usually 5–7 eggs, incubated by female during 12–15 days; both sexes feed chicks during 17–23 days, and young become fully independent after an additional 12 days.

 

Movements

Resident, but makes some vertical migrations to lowlands.

 

Family

Tits

 

Source of information

The Handbook to the Birds of the World

The Birds of the Western Palearctic

More specific information about this species

Habitat

Inhabits dry juniper woodlands and mixed juniper/broad-leaf woodlands of southern Armenia, at the elevation range from from 1000 to 1800 m a.s.l.

 

Food & Feeding

Small invertebrates and larvae, including beetles, grasshoppers, bugs, flies, bees and wasps. Usually in pairs in breeding season; often in small groups in autumn and winter. Shy and unobtrusive. Forages in lower branches of trees and shrubs, occasionally briefly on ground, but usually returns to bush or branches of tree with food items. Climbs tree trunks like a nuthatch, and occasionally pursues insects in flight in manner of flycatcher. Food items held in foot and hammered open with bill, also seeds wedged in bark before being opened.

 

Breeding

Season is from March to early August; mostly single-brooded. Monogamous and territorial, however the conflicts happen rare. Male courtship-feeds female, display includes wing-shivering and begging calls. Nest, built by female, a cup of wool, plant material, bark strips, animal hair and feathers, placed in hole in tree; known to use nestboxes. Clutch usually 5–7 eggs, incubated by female during 12–15 days; both sexes feed chicks during 17–23 days, and young become fully independent after an additional 12 days.

 

Movements

Resident, but makes some vertical migrations to lowlands.

 

Family

Tits

 

Source of information

The Handbook to the Birds of the World

The Birds of the Western Palearctic

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