Family Long-tailed Tits (Aegithalidae)

Least Concern

Red-headed Tit (Aegithalos iredalei)


Taxonomy

French: Orite d’Iredale German: Rotkopf-Schwanzmeise Spanish: Mito gorjinegro del Himalaya
Taxonomy:

Aegithaliscus concinna iredalei

E. C. S. Baker

, 1920,

Simla

.

Usually considered conspecific with A. concinnus, but differs in its bold white postocular line vs none or white-flecked line (3); homogeneous pale rufous-buff underparts without darker breastline or white belly (3); paler grey upperparts (1); and length of notes and pitch change in the high-pitched rattle-call (notes initially longer and becoming shorter vs constant length; and on one pitch vs descending) (4). Differs from A. annamensis (here split from A. concinnus) in its bold white postocular line vs grey-flecked line (3); rufous vs grey crown (3); homogeneous buff underparts without breastline or white belly (3); paler grey upperparts (ns[1]); shorter tail (at least 1); but voice surprisingly similar. Race rubricapillus recently revived on basis of darker crown, bluer-grey back#R and striking genetic difference#R. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. i. iredalei (E. C. S. Baker, 1920) – W Himalayas from N Pakistan (Swat in N Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Murree Hills) and NW India E to Nepal.
  • A. i. rubricapillus (Ticehurst, 1925) – C & E Himalayas from Nepal E to NE India (Mishmi Hills), including adjacent SW China (S Xizang at Sun Kosi Valley and Tsangpo Bend area).
  • Descriptive notes

    10·5 cm; 4–9 g. Small passerine with medium-long tail. Nominate race has forehead cinnamon-orange, becoming rufous on crown and nape, prominent white supercilium from above... read more

    Voice

    Calls include short trills, dry “churr trrrt trrrt”, sharp “chik”, sibilant “skweet” and others.... read more

    Habitat

    Found in edge habitats in broadleaf forest, especially oak (Quercus), also mixed forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food insects; also small seeds and fruits, especially raspberries (Rubus). Forages mainly in middle and lower storeys. Very active... read more

    Breeding

    Season relatively early, Mar–May/Jun; single-brooded. Sometimes co-operative breeder, with helper. Nest built by both sexes, female taking... read more

    Movements

    Mostly resident. Undertakes somewhat erratic and rather limited seasonal altitudinal movements.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to abundant. Mean density of 1·4 breeding pairs/km has been recorded in Bhutan. Although this species’ population size... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Red-headed Tit (Aegithalos iredalei). 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/1343944 on 28 January 2020).