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Sunday, Oct 02, 2022

Birdwatch: Cinereous tit, very common bird but mostly found in wooded areas

The cinereous tit is identifiable from a distance due to the white patches on both sides below the eyes and the complete white underparts.

The cinereous tit is identifiable from a distance due to the white patches on both sides below the eyes and the complete white underparts. (Express Photo)

The cinereous tit is a very common resident bird in the inter-state Chandigarh region (ISCR) but is found mostly in wooded areas. It is the only tit categorised as a very common resident bird out of the six tits in the area comprising Chandigarh, Morni Hills, Kasauli (Himachal) and certain parts of Mohali.

Other tits, including green-backed tit, black-lored tit, black-crested tit, white-crowned penduline tit and black-throated tit, are categorised as common, fairly common, uncommon and rare birds in the ISCR. We will discuss these small gems in upcoming columns.

The cinereous tit is identifiable from a distance due to the white patches on both sides below the eyes and the complete white underparts. Other identification marks are grey back, black hood, white cheek patch and a white wing bar. The underparts are whitish with the black centre stripe running along the length. The upper tail coverts are ashy and the tail is black. Another identification mark of this bird is that it has no crest, unlike the other tits.

Even though this bird is put in the category of very common resident bird, I have never come across it on the plains, maybe due to my inexperienced eyes. But I was fortunate to observe this in the hilly areas of ISCR thrice. The areas included Sherla Ka Taal, a natural water body near Samlotha mandir in Morni Hills, Kasauli and at Chakki mod, Solan, in Himachal, which is also a part of ISCR. The picture was taken at Chakki Mod.

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This bird is usually seen in pairs or small groups that sometimes join mixed-species foraging flocks. They feed on insects, mainly caterpillars, bugs and beetles as well as on buds and fruits.

First published on: 17-08-2022 at 03:37:32 pm
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