Animals

Meet Black-Throated Bushtit, The Unique Bird With Orange Plumage, Big Black Grin, And Wrap-Around Mask

If you have the chance to encounter this funny-looking guy while traveling to East Asia, you will never forget how impressive their appearance is. Today, we are excited to introduce the black-throated bushtit (Aegithalos concinnus), also known as the black-throated tit. The name sounds weird, but you didn’t misread it.

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This species is a very small passerine bird in the family Aegithalidae. It is native to the foothills of the Himalayas, stretching across northern India through north-eastern Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, northern Myanmar, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

Source: Yasuhiko Komatsu, Shanghai, China

Source: Vincent Wang, Sichuan, China

Source: Abhishek Das, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Adult birds are gray above and pale below, with yellow eyes, black throats, and masks separated by white, chestnut-washed flanks. Since they are tiny (around 10.5 cm long and weighing 4-9 g), it is difficult to see them through dense trees in tropical forests. Wow, they know how to hide like spies.

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The black-throated bushtit isn’t a fan of solidarity. They usually gather in flocks that can be up to 40 birds in the breeding season. They communicate by high-pitched contact “tsip” calls and thin, rolling trills.

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Their diet consists of small insects, spiders, seeds, fruits, and berries (particularly raspberries). They build nests on branches. Little is known about their breeding habits. These guys are good at keeping secrets.

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The black-throated bushtit is classified as Least Concern by IUCN Red List. Though their population is stable, it might take some effort to go bird-watching them.

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