Indian black-lored tit

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Indian black-lored tit
Indian yellow tit (Parus aplonotus).jpg
An Indian Black-lored Tit (Parus aplonotus) in Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, India
Conservation status
Not recognized (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paridae
Genus: Parus
Species: P. aplonotus
Binomial name
Parus aplonotus
Blyth, 1847

Macholophus aplonotus

The Indian black-lored tit or Indian yellow tit (Grimmett et al., 2011), (Parus aplonotus) is a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. The yellow-cheeked tit is probably its closest relative, and they might be related to the yellow tit. These three tits almost certainly form a distinct lineage as evidenced by morphology, and mtDNA cytochrome b sequence analysis (Gill et al., 2005). The subgenus name Macholophus may apply for them; placement in Poecile (chickadees and relatives) was apparently proposed[citation needed] but is certainly in error.

This species is a resident breeder on the Indian subcontinent. It is a common bird in open tropical forests, but does not occur in Sri Lanka. It is an active and agile feeder, taking insects and spiders from the canopy, and sometimes fruit.

It is an easy tit to recognise in most of India, large in size at 13 cm, with a broad black line (broader in the male) down its otherwise yellow front. The large crest, neck, throat and head are black with yellow cheeks and supercilia. Upperparts are olive-green. It has two white or yellowish wingbars and white outer tail feathers.

Females and young birds are duller than males. The underpart colour becomes increasingly dull from north to south through this tit's range.

It is, like other tits, a vocal bird, and has a large variety of calls, of which the most familiar is a si-si. The song is a sometimes nuthatch-like chi-chi-chi.

Woodpecker or barbet holes are used for a nest, and this species will also excavate its own hole or use man-made sites. The clutch is typically 3-5 white eggs, spotted red. The bird is a close sitter, hissing when disturbed.


  • Gill, Frank B.; Slikas, Beth & Sheldon, Frederick H. (2005): Phylogeny of titmice (Paridae): II. Species relationships based on sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene. Auk 122: 121-143. DOI: 10.1642/0004-8038(2005)122[0121:POTPIS]2.0.CO;2 HTML abstract
  • Grimmett, Richard; Inskipp, Carol, Inskipp, Tim & Byers, Clive (1999): Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.. ISBN 0-691-04910-6
  • Harrap, Simon & Quinn, David (1996): Tits, Nuthatches & Treecreepers. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-3964-4
  • Rasmussen, P.C., and J.C. Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia. The Ripley guide. Volume 2: attributes and status. Smithsonian Institution and Lynx Edicions, Washington D.C. and Barcelona.
  • Grimmett, Richard; Inskipp, Carol & Inskipp, Tim (2011) : Birds of the Indian Subcontinent, second edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-807722-X