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Jun 08 2011

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Azure Tit (Parus cyanus)

Azure Tit

Azure Tit

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Paridae | [latin] Parus cyanus | [UK] Azure Tit | [FR] Mesange azuree | [DE] Lasurmeise | [ES] Herrerillo cianeo | [NL] Azuurmees

Subspecies

Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Baeolophus cyanus
Cyanistes cyanus EU c, e Subspecies per Harrap & Quinn
Cyanistes cyanus berezowskii
Cyanistes cyanus carruthersi
Cyanistes cyanus cyanus
Cyanistes cyanus flavipectus
Cyanistes cyanus hyperrhiphaeus
Cyanistes cyanus koktalensis
Cyanistes cyanus tianschanicus
Cyanistes cyanus yenisseensis

Physical charateristics

The Azure Tit is much paler than other tits. Upperparts are pale blue, including long tail with conspicuous white corners, and blue upper wings with very broad white wing bar, and white areas on tertials and tips of flight feathers.
Underparts are white with a fine dark blue streak or spot on breast.
Head is white on crown and cheeks. We can see a half dark blue collar on nape, and a dark line through the eye, coming from the base of the bill and joining the dark blue nape. Conical short bill is bluish-grey. Eyes are black. Legs and feet are bluish-grey, sexes are similar.
Juvenile is duller, with greyish head and underparts, much greyer than blue on mantle and greyer wings.
Azure Tit may hybridize with Blue Tit, giving the subspecies called “pleskii”.

Listen to the sound of Azure Tit

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/A/Azure Tit.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 16 cm wingspan max.: 17 cm
size min.: 12 cm size max.: 14 cm
incubation min.: 13 days incubation max.: 14 days
fledging min.: 16 days fledging max.: 14 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 8  
      eggs max.: 12  

Range

Eurasia : Central, East

Habitat

Azure Tit lives in temperate deciduous or mixed woodlands with dense undergrowth, scrubs along wet areas, and willows along rivers, marshes and gardens with trees. Outside breeding season, it may be found in reedbeds.

Reproduction

The nest is situated in a hole in tree or wall. Female lays about 10 white eggs, spotted with reddish-brown. Incubation lasts about 13 to 14 days. Altricial chicks are fed by both parents. Young fledge at about 17 to 20 days after hatching.
In suitable habitat, female Azure Tit may lay clutches of 14 to 15 eggs per brood.

Feeding habits

Azure Tit feeds on insects and other invertebrates from spring to autumn and on seeds, nuts and berries in winter.

Conservation

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km2. It has a large global population, including an estimated 5,800-22,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Azure Tit status Least Concern

Migration

Resident over much of range, but also nomadic, with occasional records far from normal range; altitudinal migrant in some areas.

Distribution map

Azure Tit distribution range map

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.planetofbirds.com/passeriformes-paridae-azure-tit-cyanistes-cyanus

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