Family Long-tailed Tits (Aegithalidae)

Least Concern

White-browed Tit-warbler (Leptopoecile sophiae)


Taxonomy

French: Orite de Sophie German: Purpurhähnchen Spanish: Carbonerito de Sophie
Taxonomy:

Leptopoecile Sophiae

Severtsov

, 1873,

Lake Issyk-Kul’, Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan

.

Precise geographical boundaries of races not well known; review desirable. Races divisible into two groups, one with relatively dark plumage (nominate and obscurus) and the other pale (major and stoliczkae); combined ranges of dark races form a ring that almost entirely encircles those of pale races, and has been suggested that groups are separated ecologically, with darker “sophiae group” at higher elevations in relatively moist subalpine scrub and adjoining forest and paler “stoliczkae group” confined to well-wooded arid montane terrain at lower altitudes (at least where the groups overlap); if this ecological separation confirmed, the groups might better be treated as two separate species. Nominate race intergrades with obscurus in NE Qinghai and adjacent Gansu region of C China. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. s. sophiae Severtsov, 1873 – White-browed Tit-warbler – mountains in SE Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, NW China (W Xinjiang, N Gansu, E Qinghai) and, in S, N Pakistan (S to Baltistan) and NW India (Ladakh).
  • L. s. obscurus Przevalski, 1887 – S & E fringes of Tibetan Plateau from trans-Himalayan region of C Nepal (Dolpo), S & SE Xizang (Lhasa, Tsangpo Bend area) and S & E Qinghai E to S Gansu and NW Sichuan (S to Kangding).
  • L. s. major Menzbier, 1885 – W China in W Xinjiang (upper Tarim) and N Qinghai.
  • L. s. stoliczkae (A. O. Hume, 1874) – Stoliczka's Tit-warbler – W China in S Xinjiang, W Qinghai and extreme W Xizang (upper R Indus).
  • Descriptive notes

    8·5–10 cm; 6–8 g. Tiny passerine with relatively long, graduated tail, males startlingly coloured, with patches of violet-blue and mauve. Male nominate... read more

    Voice

    Contact call a sibilant, trilling “sirrrrr” (or “tszirr-tszirrpétszirrp... read more

    Habitat

    Montane forest, scrub and thickets. In Kazakhstan, breeds from upper margins of spruce (Picea... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet small insects and spiders (Araneae); also, mainly in autumn and winter, small quantities of seeds and berries, e.g. one individual in... read more

    Breeding

    Data mostly from Tien Shan. Laying about mid-May to mid-Jun, with replacement clutches possible until late Jul (early nests, complete in... read more

    Movements

    In some areas mainly resident, e.g. in China reported as remaining on territory in Gansu even in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common, but absent from some apparently suitable areas (e.g. Talasskiy Alatau). Possible occurrence (presumably of race ... read more

    Recommended citation

    Harrap, S. (2019). White-browed Tit-warbler (Leptopoecile sophiae). 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/59753 on 23 March 2019).