Family Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Least Concern

Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris)


Taxonomy

French: Mésange nonnette German: Sumpfmeise Spanish: Carbonero palustre
Taxonomy:

Parus palustris

Linnaeus

, 1758,

Europe = Sweden

.

Has hybridized with P. montanus and Parus major. Previously included P. hypermelaenus. Race kabardensis has been referred to by older name brandtii, but type specimen of latter now lost and, as description seems incompatible with present species, that name is considered indeterminable. Most geographical variation clinal, with e.g. decreasing size and increasing intensity of upperpart colour from E to W; stagnatilis and kabardensis sometimes included in nominate; jeholicus merged with hellmayri; altaicus (Altai and W Sayan Mts) and crassirostris (SE Russia, NE China and Korea) synonymized with brevirostris. Species has even been considered possibly monotypic, with much variation within populations. Further research and review required, particularly relationship between hellmayri and P. hypermelaenus. Ten subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. p. dresseri (Stejneger, 1886) – S Britain (England, Wales) and W France.
  • P. p. palustris (Linnaeus, 1758) – European Marsh Tit – N & C Europe from S Scandinavia S to N Iberia, E to C Poland, W Balkans and Greece.
  • P. p. italicus (Tschusi & Hellmayr, 1900) – French Alps, Italy and Sicily.
  • P. p. stagnatilis (C. L. Brehm, 1855) – E Europe E to S Urals and NW Turkey.
  • P. p. kabardensis (Buturlin, 1929) – Caucasus and NE Turkey.
  • P. p. brevirostris Taczanowski, 1872 – Asian Marsh Tit – SC & SE Siberia, N Mongolia, NE China (N & E Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning) and N Korea.
  • P. p. jeholicus (O. Kleinschmidt & Weigold, 1922) – NE China (N Hebei).
  • P. p. hellmayri Bianchi, 1903 – #RE China (Hebei S to Shandong and Jiangsu) and S Korea.
  • P. p. ernsti (Yamashina, 1933) – Sakhalin.
  • P. p. hensoni (Stejneger, 1892) – S Kuril Is and N Japan (Hokkaido).
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 8·9–15 g. Medium-sized, glossy black-capped, brown-backed tit with small blackish bib. Nominate race has forehead, crown and crown-side (down to... read more

    Voice

    Wide variety of call notes, most commonly a sharp or explosive “pitchuu, pitchuu” or... read more

    Habitat

    Lowland to submontane and montane mature deciduous woodland and forest with relatively high... read more

    Food and feeding

    Largely small invertebrates, including flies (Diptera), bugs (Hemiptera), stoneflies (Plecoptera), caddisflies (Trichoptera), bees and... read more

    Breeding

    Season late Mar to Jun. Study in Poland found high flexibility in timing of egg-laying by individual females, depending on weather... read more

    Movements

    Largely resident, with short-distance post-breeding dispersal by juveniles (females moving on... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common or common, but often local or sporadic; more scarce in N parts of range, including Sayan Mts (SC Russia), and in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Gosler, A., Clement, P., Garcia, E.F.J., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris). 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/59859 on 19 November 2018).