Family Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Least Concern

Rufous-bellied Tit (Melaniparus rufiventris)


Taxonomy

French: Mésange à ventre cannelle German: Rostbauch-Rußmeise Spanish: Carbonero ventrirrufo
Taxonomy:

Parus rufiventris

Bocage

, 1877,

Caconda, Angola

.

Has been considered conspecific with M. pallidiventris, but primarily differs in belly colour (varies clinally), with previously cited differences in eye colour now in question#R; hybridization not proven but strongly suspected#R; further research, including genetics, required. Races intergrade widely. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. r. rufiventris (Bocage, 1877) – S Congo and SW & S DRCongo S to C Angola and C Zambia.
  • M. r. diligens (Clancey, 1979) – S Angola, N Namibia, SW Zambia and NW Botswana.
  • M. r. masukuensis (Shelley, 1900) – SE DRCongo, E Zambia, Malawi and, probably, SW Tanzania#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; c. 20 g. Large tit with pale eye, black head to breast and rufous underparts. Male nominate race has entire head to nape and neck side, throat and breast... read more

    Voice

    Calls include thin “sit, sit” and “szit”, becoming part of longer series of... read more

    Habitat

    Open and mature mopane or miombo (Brachystegia) woodland, savanna with thorn-scrub, edges... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet principally small invertebrates and larvae. Usually in pairs, small groups or mixed-species flocks; occasionally in foraging flocks... read more

    Breeding

    Poorly known. Season Sept–Dec. Possibly a co-operative breeder, group of four individuals prospecting for nest-sites in Angola. Nest... read more

    Movements

    Resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common or locally fairly common in DRCongo and Zambia; uncommon elsewhere. Rare, or irregular visitor, in NW Botswana. In Zambia, density of 2... read more

    Recommended citation

    Gosler, A. & Clement, P. (2019). Rufous-bellied Tit (Melaniparus rufiventris). 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/59892 on 23 January 2019).