Cinereous Tit

Cinereous Tit (Parus cinereus)

Belonging to the Tit family, the Cinereous Tit is a tiny bird of mostly black and white combination. In most parts of South Asia and Indian subcontinent it is visible.”Boro teet is what it is referred to as in Bengali.

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Cinereous Tit

 

 

Where could you find the Cinereous Tit in Kolkata?

During the winter season spanning from December to January, the Cinereous Tit can be spotted in Kolkata; to name a few places such as Central Park, botanical Garden, and Rabindra Sarabar

When should you photograph the Cinereous Tit?

I consider mornings as the best suited time to photograph the Cinereous Tit. From their sparrow – like appearance and black head it is easy to locate the bird. Though the bird is approachable in nature; be cautious while going near it. They have very shrill call often confused with sunbirds, so for a first timer it might be difficult to spot them just by hearing calls.

Photographing the bird, characteristics, breeding and the necessary details:

The bird has a broad black ventral line and has no crest. This tit is part of a confusing group of species but is distinct in having a grey-back, black hood, white cheek patch and a white wing-bar. The underparts are white with the black central stripe running along the length. The female has a narrower ventral line and is slightly duller. The upper tail coverts are ashy while the tail is black with the central 4 pairs of feathers ashy on the outer webs and all but the central pair is stripped white. The fifth pair is white with a black rachis and a band of black on the inner web. The outermost pair of tail feathers is all white with a black shaft. The undertail coverts are black towards the centre but white on the sides.

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Cinereous Tit

These birds give eggs in the summers and their mating season can start from Feburary. During their mating season, whistling calls increase. Their diet mainly consists of fruits, seeds and insects. The nests are placed in hollow trees or in walls or mud-banks. Some confuse the bird with the Great Tit which is a yellow breasted bird.

Cinereous Tit call: whistling titiweesi-titiweesi-witsi-seesee

The image was shot at Central Park, Kolkata. Previously, this species of bird was not much spotted in this region. However, to my surprise, in 2016 I spotted seven Cinereous Tits at Central Park, collecting nectar from the Calliandar, a plant bearing red flowers, along with the Sunbirds. The whistling sweet sound of the bird soothes my mind.

 

Tips

  • The birds are small but easy to identify from their sparrow like appearance
  • The black head it distinctive.
  • usually not shy and can be approached with caution .
  • They have a very sweet call , almost like sunbirds and warblers , but with practise it is easy to identify the calls and locate the bird.
  • It mainly visits central park during the mid winter , so best time to look for it is during december to january

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