Family Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Least Concern

Willow Tit (Poecile montanus)


Taxonomy

French: Mésange boréale German: Weidenmeise Spanish: Carbonero montano
Taxonomy:

Parus cinereus montanus

Conrad

, 1827,

mountain forests of Graubünden, Switzerland

.

Has hybridized with P. palustris, P. cinctus, Sittiparus varius, Periparus ater and Parus major. Races songarus, affinis, weigoldicus and stoetzneri sometimes treated as a separate species. Genetic#R and geographical#R evidence suggests weigoldicus alone may be a separate species, but greater clarity needed over parapatry with and differentiation from race affinis. Geographical variation largely clinal; species sometimes considered possibly monotypic, with much variation within populations. Further research required, particularly of relationship between baicalensis and stoetzneri. Other proposed races include colletti (W Norway) and lonnbergi (N Scandinavia and NW Russia), synonymized with borealis; transsylvanicus (Carpathians and Transylvanian Alps, SE Europe) and rhodopeus (SE Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria), merged with nominate; shulpini (Ussuriland), which differs only clinally from baicalensis; and suschkini (E Tarbagatai Mts), probably of hybrid origin, but provisionally included in songarus. Fifteen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. kleinschmidti (Hellmayr, 1900) – Britain.
  • P. m. rhenanus (O. Kleinschmidt, 1900) – W Europe from NW France E to W Germany and S to extreme N Italy.
  • P. m. montanus (Conrad, 1827) – Willow Tit – SE France (Jura) E to Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and N & C Greece. Also disjunct population in C Italy (C Apennines).
  • P. m. salicarius (C. L. Brehm, 1831) – Germany and W Poland S to NE Switzerland and Austria.
  • P. m. borealis (Sélys-Longchamps, 1843) – Fennoscandia, Baltic Republics and European Russia S to W Ukraine.
  • P. m. uralensis (Grote, 1927) – SE European Russia, W Siberia and N Kazakhstan.
  • P. m. baicalensis Swinhoe, 1871 – E Russia (Yenisey Basin and Altai E to W coast of Sea of Okhotsk), N Mongolia, NW & NE China (NW Xinjiang; N Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, Jilin and E Liaoning) and N Korea.
  • P. m. anadyrensis (Belopolski, 1932) – extreme NE Siberia S to N Okhotsk coast.
  • P. m. kamtschatkensis Bonaparte, 1850 – Kamchatka.
  • P. m. sachalinensis (Lönnberg, 1908) – Sakhalin.
  • P. m. restrictus (Hellmayr, 1900) – Japan.
  • P. m. songarus (Severtsov, 1873) – Songar Tit – Tien Shan in SE Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (C & E Tien Shan) E to NW China (W Xinjiang).
  • P. m. affinis Przevalski, 1876 – NC China (NE Qinghai, S Gansu, N Sichuan, Ningxia and SW Shaanxi).
  • P. m. stoetzneri (O. Kleinschmidt, 1921) – NE China (SE Inner Mongolia and Shanxi E to Hebei and N Henan).
  • P. m. weigoldicus (O. Kleinschmidt, 1921) – Sichuan Tit – SC China (E Xizang, SE Qinghai, W & C Sichuan and NW Yunnan).
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 8–15 g. Medium-sized, broad-headed tit with pale panel on closed wing. Nominate race has forehead to side of crown (down to lower edge of eye), nape and... read more

    Voice

    Generally less vocal than P. palustris, and with fairly restricted vocal repertoire.... read more

    Habitat

    Lowland, submontane and montane forests and woodlands, principally coniferous forests of pine (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly invertebrates and larvae, also vegetable matter. In breeding season includes flies (Diptera), lacewings (Neuroptera), mayflies (... read more

    Breeding

    Season Apr–Jul; one brood. Monogamous; lifelong pair-bond. Territorial; partners remain together within or close to territory (within... read more

    Movements

    Mainly resident; race songarus a short-distance altitudinal migrant, and N populations... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in N parts of range, and the commonest tit in Siberia (abundant along R Yenisey) and Mongolia (but population largely dependent on seed crop... read more

    Recommended citation

    Gosler, A., Clement, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2018). Willow Tit (Poecile montanus). 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/59860 on 17 December 2018).