Family Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Least Concern

Somali Tit (Melaniparus thruppi)


Taxonomy

French: Mésange somalienne German: Somalirußmeise Spanish: Carbonero somalí
Other common names: Acacia Tit
Taxonomy:

Parus thruppi

Shelley

, 1885,

south of Burao, north-west Somalia

.

Has been considered conspecific with either or both of M. cinerascens and M. afer, but is most closely related to M. fringillinus. Nominate race intergrades with barakae in N Kenya. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. t. thruppi (Shelley, 1885) – Ethiopia (except S), Somalia (except SW) and N Kenya.
  • M. t. barakae (F. J. Jackson, 1899) – extreme E Uganda, Kenya, S Ethiopia#R, SW Somalia (Gedo) and NE Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    11·5–12 cm; 12 g. Small grey tit with large white face patch and black cap, bib and ventral stripe. Male nominate race has forehead and upper lores blackish,... read more

    Voice

    Calls include buzzy “chya chya”, soft but hoarse “chet” or “chut... read more

    Habitat

    Mainly dry or arid open acacia (Acacia) woodland and Commiphora scrub, bushed... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet poorly known, but includes small invertebrates, principally wasps (Hymenoptera), beetles (Coleoptera) and larvae. Usually in pairs or... read more

    Breeding

    Very poorly known, and few nests found. Season Feb–Jun. Territorial. Nest placed 2·5–7 m from ground in hole in dead... read more

    Movements

    Resident; vagrant in NE Uganda.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally common. Poorly known species.

    Recommended citation

    Gosler, A. & Clement, P. (2017). Somali Tit (Melaniparus thruppi). 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/59896 on 17 December 2017).