Penduline tit

The penduline tits constitute a family of small passerine birds, related to the true tits. All but the verdin make elaborate bag nests hanging from trees (whence "penduline", hanging), usually over water.

Penduline tits
Remiz pendulinus 3 (Martin Mecnarowski)
Eurasian penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Infraorder: Passerida
Family: Remizidae
Olphe-Galliard, 1891



Penduline tits are tiny passerines, ranging from 7.5 to 11 cm in length, that resemble the true tits (Paridae) but have finer bills with more needle-like points. Their wings are short and rounded and their short tails are notched (except the stub-tailed tit). The penduline tits' typical plumage colors are pale grays and yellows and white, though the European penduline tit has black and chestnut markings and some species have bright yellow or red.[1]

Distribution and habitat

The penduline tits live in Eurasia and Africa and North America. The genus Remiz is almost exclusively Eurasian, ranging discontinuously from Portugal and the tip of northern Morocco through to Siberia and Japan. The largest genus, Anthoscopus, is found in sub-Saharan Africa from the Sahel through to South Africa. The verdin lives in arid parts of the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico.

Several species of penduline tit are migratory, although this behaviour is only shown in species found in Asia and Europe; African species and the verdin are apparently sedentary. The Eurasian penduline tit is migratory over parts of its range, with birds in northern Europe moving south in the winter but birds in southern Europe remaining close to their breeding areas. In contrast the Chinese penduline tit is fully migratory and undertake long distance migrations.

Most live in open country with trees or bushes, ranging from desert to marsh to woodland, but the forest penduline tit lives in rain forest. They spend most of the year in small flocks.[1]


Remiz pendulinis 6
Eurasian penduline tit nest in Poland

Insects form the larger part of the diet of the penduline tits, and they are active foragers. Their long conical bill is used to probe into cracks and prise open holes in order to obtain prey. Nectar, seeds and fruits may also be taken seasonally. Their foraging behaviour is reminiscent of the true tits (Paridae), foraging upside-down on small branches, manoeuvring branches and leaves with their feet in order to insect them, and clasping large prey items with one foot while dismembering them.[2]

The common name of the family reflects the tendency of most species to construct elaborate pear-shaped nests. These nests are woven from spiderweb, wool and animal hair and soft plant materials and is suspended from twigs and branches in trees. The nests of the African genus Anthoscopus are even more elaborate than the Eurasian Remiz, incorporating a false entrance above the true entrance which leads to a false chamber. The true nesting chamber is accessed by the parent opening a hidden flap, entering and then closing the flap shut again, the two sides sealing with sticky spider webs.[2]

Nest of Eurasian penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus) (University of Hamburg)

The verdin builds a domed nest out of thorny twigs. In some penduline tit species the eggs are white, sometimes with red spots. The verdin lays blue-green eggs with red spots. Incubation lasts about 13 or 14 days, and the nestlings fledge at about 18 days.[1] In penduline tits, higher incidences of extra-pair paternity results in lower rates of male care, suggesting that extra-pair offspring devalues parental care.[3]


Southern Penduline-Tit (Anthoscopus minutus)
Cape penduline tit (Anthoscopus minutus)
African Penduline-Tit (Anthoscopus caroli)
Grey penduline tit (Anthoscopus caroli)

Sometimes, these birds are included as subfamily Remizinae in the tit family Paridae. Which taxonomic lineup scientists prefers is primarily a matter of taste; that these families are close relatives is well established by now. If the penduline tits are included in the Paridae, the stenostirid "warblers" would have to be included as another subfamily, while if they are considered a separate family, the sultan tit and the yellow-browed tit would possibly need to be excluded from the Paridae.[4][5] The placement of the tit-hylia within this family is particularly controversial, it having variously been placed with the sunbirds, waxbills, honeyeaters and most recently close to the green hylia.[6] It is placed in the Cettiidae family.

There are 11 species in 3 genera: Family: REMIZIDAE


  1. ^ a b c Perrins, Christopher M. (2003). The Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds: Penduline Tits. Firefly Books. ISBN 978-1-55297-777-4.
  2. ^ a b Madge, Steve (2008). "Family Remizidae (Penduline-tits)". In Josep, del Hoyo; Andrew, Elliott; David, Christie (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 13, Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 52–75. ISBN 978-84-96553-45-3.
  3. ^ Ball, A. D.; van Dijk, R. E.; Lloyd, P.; Pogány, Á.; Dawson, D. A.; Dorus, S.; Bowie, R. C. K.; Burke, T.; Székely, T. (2017). "Levels of extra-pair paternity are associated with parental care in penduline tits (Remizidae)". Ibis. 159 (2): 449–455. doi:10.1111/ibi.12446.
  4. ^ Jønsson, Knud A.; Fjeldså, Jon (2006). "Determining biogeographical patterns of dispersal and diversification in oscine passerine birds in Australia, Southeast Asia and Africa". J. Biogeogr. 33 (7): 1155–1165. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01507.x.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Sefc, Kristina M.; Payne, Robert B.; Sorenson, Michael D. (2003). "Phylogenetic relationships of African sunbird-like warblers: Moho (Hypergerus atriceps), Green Hylia (Hylia prasina) and Tit-hylia (Pholidornis rushiae)" (PDF). Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology. 74 (1–2): 8–17. doi:10.2989/00306520309485365. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-10-31.

Further reading

  • Harrap, Simon & Quinn, David (1996): Tits, Nuthatches & Treecreepers. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-3964-4

External links


Anthoscopus is a genus of birds in the penduline tit family Remizidae. The genus is restricted to Sub-Saharan Africa, where it ranges from the Sahel to South Africa. Unlike many of the Eurasian penduline, these species are not generally migratory, instead remaining close to their breeding sites year round. A wide range of habitats is occupied by the six species, from deserts to woodlands to rainforest.


Balka, also Balke, is a village and seaside resort midway between Nexø and Snogebæk on the southwest coast of the Danish island of Bornholm. As of 2015, it has a population of 215. It is best known for its wide beach with fine white sand.

Black-headed penduline tit

The black-headed penduline tit (Remiz macronyx) is a species of bird in the family Remizidae.

It is found in central Asia.

Cape penduline tit

The Cape penduline tit or southern penduline tit (Anthoscopus minutus) is a species of bird in the family Remizidae.

It is found in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Its natural habitats are dry savannah, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, and Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation. At 8 cm (3.1 in) in length, it is one of the smallest species of bird found in Africa, along with its cousins the grey penduline tit and the mouse-coloured penduline tit.

Chinese penduline tit

The Chinese penduline tit (Remiz consobrinus) is a species of bird in the family Remizidae.

It is found in China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, and Russia. Totally in the world there is 10 species of birds in the family Remizidae. They are similar to true tits, but make characteristic penduline nests. Inhibit in openfield and around wetland. They have sharp bill tips and sexes are alike.

Eurasian penduline tit

The Eurasian penduline tit or European penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus) is a passerine bird of the genus Remiz. The genus name is the Polish word for the Eurasian penduline tit, and pendulinus is Latin for "hanging down”, which refers to its nest.It is relatively widespread throughout Eurasia. The breeding range of the species in Western Europe experienced an expansion during the 1980s and 1990s. This was accompanied by an expansion of the species’ winter range and reached as far south as northern Morocco.It builds an elaborate hanging nest, formerly used in Central Europe as children's slippers.This species was first described as Motacilla pendulinus by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758.

Forest penduline tit

The forest penduline tit (Anthoscopus flavifrons) is a species of bird in the family Remizidae.

It is found in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest.

Grey penduline tit

The grey penduline tit (Anthoscopus caroli), also known as the African penduline-tit, is a species of bird in the family Remizidae. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, dry savanna, and moist savanna. At 8 to 9 cm (3.1 to 3.5 in) in length and a weight of 6.5 g (0.23 oz), it is one of the smallest species of bird found in Africa, along with its cousin the Cape penduline tit and the perhaps smaller mouse-colored penduline tit and the tit hylia.

Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve

Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve, 130 km (81 mi) south-east of Ulaanbaatar, has a great diversity of ecosystems even though it has a comparatively small area. The complex of high mountains, steppes, rivers, lakes and wetlands are kept in their original condition. Visitors to Gun-Galuut see vast steppes seeming to meet the sky, the imposing mountains of Baits and Berkh, the homeland of rare creatures, Ikh-Gun and Ayaga lakes, a paradise of birds, Kherlen, the longest river of Mongolia and the Tsengiin Burd wetland, where water and wetland birds lay their eggs.

List of birds of Kyrgyzstan

376 bird species have occurred in the Kyrgyz Republic.

List of endemic birds of southern Africa

The following is a list of bird species endemic or near-endemic to southern Africa (South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and southern Mozambique).

Grey-winged francolin, Scleroptila africanus

Orange River francolin, Scleroptila levaillantoides

Red-billed spurfowl (red-billed francolin), Pternistes adspersus

Cape spurfowl (Cape francolin), Pternistes capensis

Natal spurfowl (Natal francolin), Pternistes natalensis

South African shelduck, Tadorna cana

Cape shoveler, Anas smithii

Hottentot buttonquail, Turnix hottentotta

Knysna woodpecker, Campethera notata

Ground woodpecker, Geocolaptes olivaceus

Acacia pied barbet, Tricholaema leucomelas

Monteiro's hornbill (Damara hornbill), Tockus monteiri

Southern yellow-billed hornbill, Tockus leucomelas

Bradfield's hornbill, Tockus bradfieldi

White-backed mousebird, Colius colius

Cape parrot, Poicephalus robustus

Ruppell's parrot, Poicephalus rueppellii

Rosy-faced lovebird, Agapornis roseicollis

Bradfield's swift, Apus bradfieldi

Knysna turaco, Tauraco corythaix

Ludwig's bustard, Neotis ludwigii

Red-crested korhaan, Eupodotis ruficrista

Southern black korhaan (black bustard), Afrotis afra (Eupodotis afra)

Northern black korhaan (white-quilled bustard), Afrotis afraoides (Eupodotis afraoides)

Ruppell's korhaan, Eupodotis rueppellii

Karoo korhaan, Eupodotis vigorsii

Blue korhaan, Eupodotis caerulescens

Blue crane, Anthropoides paradiseus

Namaqua sandgrouse, Pterocles namaqua

Double-banded sandgrouse, Pterocles bicinctus

Burchell's sandgrouse, Pterocles burchelli

Burchell's courser, Cursorius rufus

Hartlaub's gull, Larus hartlaubii

Cape vulture, Gyps coprotheres

Black harrier, Circus maurus

Southern pale chanting goshawk, Melierax canorus

Forest buzzard, Buteo trizonatus

Jackal buzzard, Buteo rufofuscus

Crowned cormorant, Phalacrocorax coronatus

Bank cormorant, Phalacrocorax neglectus

Southern bald ibis, Geronticus calvus

African penguin, Spheniscus demersus

Southern tchagra, Tchagra tchagra

Southern boubou, Laniarius ferrugineus

Crimson-breasted shrike, Laniarius atrococcineus

Bokmakierie, Telophorus zeylonus

Olive bushshrike, Telophorus olivaceus

White-tailed shrike, Lanioturdus torquatus

Cape batis, Batis capensis

Pririt batis, Batis pririt

Southern white-crowned shrike, Eurocephalus anguitimens

Cape rockjumper, Chaetops frenatus

Drakensberg rockjumper, Chaetops aurantius

Cape penduline tit, Anthoscopus minutus

Carp's tit, Parus carpi

Ashy tit, Parus cinerascens

Grey tit, Parus afer

African red-eyed bulbul, Pycnonotus nigricans

Cape bulbul, Pycnonotus capensis

Fairy flycatcher, Stenostira scita

Rockrunner, Achaetops pycnopygius

Cape grassbird, Sphenoeacus afer

Victorin's warbler, Bradypterus victorini

Karoo eremomela, Eremomela gregalis

Knysna warbler, Bradypterus sylvaticus

Barratt's warbler, Bradypterus barratti

Black-faced babbler, Turdoides melanops

Southern pied babbler, Turdoides bicolor

Bush blackcap, Lioptilus nigricapillus

Layard's tit-babbler, Parisoma layardi

Chestnut-vented tit-babbler, Parisoma subcaeruleum

Cape white-eye, Zosterops virens

Orange River white-eye, Zosterops pallidus

Grey-backed cisticola, Cisticola subruficapillus

Rufous-winged cisticola, Cisticola galactotes

Cloud cisticola, Cisticola textrix

Black-chested prinia, Prinia flavicans

Karoo prinia, Prinia maculosa

Drakensberg prinia, Prinia hypoxantha

Namaqua warbler, Phragmacia substriata

Robert's warbler, Oreophilais robertsi

Rufous-eared warbler, Malcorus pectoralis

Rudd's apalis, Apalis ruddi

Chirinda apalis, Apalis chirindensis

Barred wren-warbler, Calamonastes fasciolatus

Cinnamon-breasted warbler, Euryptila subcinnamomea

Monotonous lark, Mirafra passerina

Melodious lark, Mirafra cheniana

Cape clapper lark, Mirafra apiata

Eastern clapper lark, Mirafra fasciolata

Sabota lark (incl. Bradfield's), Mirafra sabota

Fawn-coloured lark, Calendulauda africanoides

Rudd's lark, Heteromirafra ruddi

Red lark, Certhilauda burra

Karoo lark, Certhilauda albescens

Barlow's lark, Certhilauda barlowi

Dune lark, Certhilauda erythrochlamys

Cape long-billed lark, Certhilauda curvirostris

Agulhas long-billed lark, Certhilauda brevirostris

Eastern long-billed lark, Certhilauda semitorquata

Karoo long-billed lark, Certhilauda subcoronata

Short-clawed lark, Certhilauda chuana

Gray's lark, Ammomanes grayi

Spike-heeled lark, Chersomanes albofasciata

Black-eared sparrow-lark, Eremopterix australis

Grey-backed sparrow-lark, Eremopterix verticalis

Stark's lark, Eremalauda starki

Pink-billed lark, Spizocorys conirostris

Botha's lark, Spizocorys fringillaris

Sclater's lark, Spizocorys sclateri

Large-billed lark, Galerida magnirostris

Cape rock thrush, Monticola rupestris

Sentinel rock thrush, Monticola explorator

Short-toed rock thrush Monticola brevipes

Karoo thrush Turdus smithi

Chat flycatcher, Bradornis infuscatus

Marico flycatcher, Bradornis mariquensis

Fiscal flycatcher, Sigelus silens

White-throated robin-chat, Cossypha humeralis

Chorister robin-chat, Cossypha dichroa

Brown scrub robin, Cercotrichas signata

Kalahari scrub robin, Cercotrichas paena

Karoo scrub robin, Cercotrichas coryphaeus

Herero chat, Namibornis herero

Buff-streaked chat, Oenanthe bifasciata

Mountain wheatear, Oenanthe monticola

Sickle-winged chat, Cercomela sinuata

Karoo chat, Cercomela schlegelii

Tractrac chat, Cercomela tractrac

Anteating chat, Myrmecocichla formicivora

Boulder chat, Pinarornis plumosus

Pale-winged starling, Onychognathus nabouroup

Burchell's starling, Lamprotornis australis

Pied starling, Spreo bicolor

Gurney's sugarbird, Promerops gurneyi

Cape sugarbird, Promerops cafer

Orange-breasted sunbird, Anthobaphes violacea

Southern double-collared sunbird, Cinnyris chalybea

Greater double-collared sunbird, Cinnyris afra

Neergaard's sunbird, Cinnyris neergaardi

Dusky sunbird, Cinnyris fusca

Great sparrow, Passer motitensis

Cape sparrow, Passer melanurus

Cape longclaw, Macronyx capensis

Yellow-breasted pipit, Anthus chloris

African rock pipit, Anthus crenatus

Scaly-feathered finch, Sporopipes squamifrons

Sociable weaver, Philetairus socius

Cape weaver, Ploceus capensis

Pink-throated twinspot, Hypargos margaritatus

Swee waxbill, Estrilda melanotis

Red-headed finch, Amadina erythrocephala

Shaft-tailed whydah, Vidua regia

Forest canary, Crithagra scotops

Lemon-breasted canary, Crithagra citrinipectus

Yellow canary, Crithagra flaviventris

White-throated canary, Crithagra albogularis

Protea canary, Crithagra leucoptera

Cape siskin, Crithagra totta

Drakensberg siskin, Crithagra symonsi

Cape canary, Serinus canicollis

Black-headed canary, Serinus alario

Lark-like bunting, Emberiza impetuani

Cape bunting, Emberiza capensis

Mouse-coloured penduline tit

The mouse-coloured penduline tit or mouse-colored penduline tit (Anthoscopus musculus) is a species of bird in the family Remizidae. At 8 cm (3.1 in) in length, it is one of the two shortest birds native to Africa, alongside the tit hylia.


Remiz is a genus of birds in the Remizidae family, commonly known as the Eurasian pendulines (in contrast to the African pendulines). Like other penduline tits, they are named for their elegant, pendulous nests. The genus name, Remiz, is the Polish word for the Eurasian penduline tit.

Sennar penduline tit

The Sennar penduline tit (Anthoscopus punctifrons) is a species of bird in the family Remizidae, the most northerly member of the genus Anthoscopus.

It is found in Cameroon, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan.

Its natural habitats are dry savanna and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.

Sibley-Monroe checklist 15

The Sibley-Monroe checklist was a landmark document in the study of birds. It drew on extensive DNA-DNA hybridisation studies to reassess the relationships between modern birds.


The verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) is a species of penduline tit. It is the only species in the genus Auriparus and the only species in the family to be found in the New World.

The verdin is a very small bird. At 4.5 in (11 cm) in length, it rivals the American bushtit as one of the smallest passerines in North America. It is gray overall, and adults have a bright yellow head and rufous "shoulder patch" (the lesser coverts). Unlike the tits, it has a sharply pointed bill.

Verdins are insectivorous, continuously foraging among the desert trees and scrubs. They are usually solitary except when they pair up to construct their conspicuous nests. Verdins occasionally try to obtain tidbits of dried sugar water from hummingbird feeders.

Verdins are permanent residents of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, ranging from southeastern California to Texas, throughout Baja California and into central Mexico, north of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt.

Verdin (disambiguation)

Verdin is a species of penduline tit.

Verdin may also refer to:

The Verdin Company, American bell foundry

USS Verdin (AMS-38), American minesweeper

USS Verdin (ASR-17), American submarine rescue ship

Verdin baronets, extinct baronetcy

Verdin High School, former UK secondary school

Verdin, Iran (disambiguation), places in Iran

White-crowned penduline tit

The white-crowned penduline tit (Remiz coronatus) is a species of bird in the family Remizidae. It is found in Afghanistan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, and Tajikistan.Its natural habitats are boreal forests and temperate forests.

Yellow penduline tit

The yellow penduline tit (Anthoscopus parvulus) is a species of bird in the family Remizidae.

It is found in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, and Togo.

Its natural habitat is dry savanna.

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