Family Tits and Chickadees (Paridae)

Least Concern

Yellow-cheeked Tit (Machlolophus spilonotus)


Taxonomy

French: Mésange à dos tacheté German: Königsmeise Spanish: Carbonero carigualdo chino
Taxonomy:

Parus spilonotus

Bonaparte

, 1850,

India

.

In past, sometimes considered conspecific with M. xanthogenys. Race rex distinctive, but merely replaces greyish-yellow of lower flanks and back-spotting with grey (3). Races intergrade widely. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. s. spilonotus (Bonaparte, 1850) – E Himalayas from E Nepal E to NE India (Arunachal Pradesh and N Assam), N & W Myanmar and SW China (S Xizang).
  • M. s. subviridis (Blyth, 1855) – NE India (S Assam S to Manipur), Myanmar (except N, W & C), W, NW & NE Thailand and S China (W Yunnan).
  • M. s. rex (David, 1874) – S & SE China (S Sichuan and S & E Yunnan E to Guangdong, Fujian and S Zhejiang, including Hong Kong), N Laos and NW Vietnam.
  • M. s. basileus Delacour, 1932 – S Laos and SC Vietnam (Annam).
  • Descriptive notes

    13·5–15·5 cm; 18–23 g. Medium-sized to large size tit with erect black crest and eyestripe and yellow cheeks. Male nominate race has forehead and... read more

    Voice

    Calls include “si-si-si” or more drawn-out “si-si-pudi-pudi”, or “... read more

    Habitat

    Open temperate and subtropical deciduous or mixed forests with oak (Quercus), pine (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet not well known, but includes small invertebrates and larvae, including spiders (Araneae), also buds and some fruit, e.g. berries.... read more

    Breeding

    Season late Feb to mid-Aug. Nest a small platform or pad of moss, grass, bracken (Pteridium) strips, leaves, animal fur, wool and... read more

    Movements

    Resident; also short-distance altitudinal migrant, descending to lower levels in non-breeding... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common or locally common to rare. Scarce or rare in Himalayas, but locally common in NE Indian hill states and Myanmar. Common in N Thailand; fairly... read more

    Recommended citation

    Gosler, A. & Clement, P. (2019). Yellow-cheeked Tit (Machlolophus spilonotus). 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/59905 on 19 February 2019).