Family Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Least Concern

Sombre Tit (Poecile lugubris)


Taxonomy

French: Mésange lugubre German: Balkanmeise Spanish: Carbonero lúgubre
Taxonomy:

Parus lugubris

Temminck

, 1820,

Dalmatia and Hungary

.

Often (as in HBW) treated as conspecific with P. hyrcanus and sometimes with P. davidi, but more closely related to P. superciliosus#R. Geographical variation largely clinal, size decreasing N to S, crown and bib darker from S to N & E, and underparts increasingly paler W to E; proposed race splendens (E Romania and E Bulgaria) somewhat larger and paler than nominate, but better included within it. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. l. lugubris (Temminck, 1820) – extreme SW Slovenia and NW Croatia S to Albania, and C & S Romania S to E Bulgaria and N Greece, also Crete.
  • P. l. lugens (C. L. Brehm, 1855) – C & S Greece.
  • P. l. anatoliae (E. J. O. Hartert, 1905) – Asia Minor, W Georgia, S Armenia, SW Azerbaijan, Levant (S to N Israel).
  • P. l. dubius (Hellmayr, 1901) – W Iran.
  • P. l. kirmanensis (Koelz, 1950) – SE Iran (Kerman).
  • Descriptive notes

    12·4–15 cm; 15–19 g. Large, large-billed, grey-brown tit with blackish cap and bib. Male nominate race has upper lores and crown to nape blackish brown to... read more

    Voice

    Call notes include thin or nasal “si” or “zee” as contact, or extended into... read more

    Habitat

    Inhabits dry maquis areas of scattered trees and bushes, including olive (Olea) groves,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small invertebrates and larvae, including beetles (Coleoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera), bugs (Hemiptera), flies (Diptera), bees and... read more

    Breeding

    Season Mar to early Aug; mostly single-brooded but two broods not uncommon, and double-brooding frequent in Israel. Monogamous; territorial... read more

    Movements

    Resident, but some evidence of altitudinal movements in Zagros Mts (Iran) and N Israel; some... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally uncommon or locally common. Fairly common and widespread in Greece and W Turkey (less common inland), absent from Ionian... read more

    Recommended citation

    Gosler, A., Clement, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Sombre Tit (Poecile lugubris). 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/59858 on 14 December 2018).