Siberian Tit

Siberian Tit

The Siberian Tit or Gray-headed Chickadee (Poecile cinctus, formerly Parus cinctus) is a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. It is a widespread resident breeder throughout subarctic Scandinavia and northern Asia, and also into North America in Alaska and the far northwest of Canada. It is a conifer specialist. It is resident, and most birds do not migrate.

It is a fairly large tit, 13.5–14 cm long with a weight of 11–14.3 g. The head is dark brown with white cheeks, the mantle brown, the wing feathers blackish with pale fringes, and the underpartswhitish with pale brown flanks.

Formerly, it was placed in the genus Parus with most other tits, but mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data and morphology suggest that separating Poecile more adequately expresses these birds' relationships (Gill et al., 2005). The American Ornithologists' Union has been treating Poecile as distinct genus for some time already. The genus name Poecile has often been treated as feminine (giving the species name ending cincta); however, this was not specified by the original genus author Johann Jakob Kaup, and under the ICZN the genus name must therefore be treated by default as masculine, giving the name ending cinctus (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

References

  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • del Hoyo, J., Elliot, A., & Christie D. (eds). (2007). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 9788496553422
  • Gill, F. B., Slikas, B., & Sheldon, F. H. (2005). Phylogeny of titmice (Paridae): II. Species relationships based on sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene. Auk 122: 121-143. DOI: 10.1642/0004-8038(2005)122[0121:POTPIS]2.0.CO;2 HTML abstract

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