Family Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Least Concern

Dark-eyed Black Tit (Melaniparus leucomelas)


Taxonomy

French: Mésange à épaulettes German: Weißflügel-Rußmeise Spanish: Carbonero aliblanco
Other common names: White-winged Black Tit, White-winged Tit, Northern Black Tit
Taxonomy:

Parus leucomelas

Rüppell

, 1840,

Halei Province, Temben, Ethiopia

.

Often treated as conspecific with M. guineensis, and the two occur in mixed flocks in Uganda, but they differ in eye colour, and no evidence of intergrades. Sometimes considered conspecific with M. niger, but they are not close relatives#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. l. leucomelas (Rüppell, 1840) – SE Sudan, N Eritrea and C & SC Ethiopia.
  • M. l. insignis (Cabanis, 1880) – S Gabon and S Congo E to E DRCongo, SW Uganda, W Rwanda, N Burundi and NW & C Tanzania, S to Angola, Zambia and Malawi.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16 cm; 21–24 g. Large, glossy black tit with dark eyes and large white patch on wing-coverts. Male nominate race has entire body and tail black (in fresh... read more

    Voice

    Calls include shrill and abrupt “chut” or “chit”, usually as introduction... read more

    Habitat

    In Ethiopia (nominate race), found in dry podocarpus forests of juniper (Juniperus) and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food includes small invertebrates and larvae, also seeds and some fruit, in particular custard-apple fruit (Annona). Usually in... read more

    Breeding

    Season Mar–Dec, possibly throughout year. Monogamous, solitary breeder. Nest a pad or small platform of grass and lichens, placed up... read more

    Movements

    Resident; vagrant to N Mozambique (at 570 m).

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common or locally common throughout its range.

    Recommended citation

    Gosler, A. & Clement, P. (2019). Dark-eyed Black Tit (Melaniparus leucomelas). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/59886 on 16 February 2019).