Willow tit Poecile montanus, copyright Francis C. Franklin.

Belongs within: Sylviida.
Contains: Parus.

The Paridae, tits, are a family of mostly very small, often boldly patterned birds found in Eurasia, Africa and North America. Most species have short, stout, pointed bills with the nostrils partially concealed by feathers, and rounded wings with the outermost of the ten primary feathers only half the length of the second. They are mostly cavity nesters.

In the past, most tits have been included within a single genus Parus. However, more recent classifications have recognised several distinct genera within the family, such as the black-capped, white-cheeked species of the genus Poecile (including the North American chickadees).

Paridae [Parinae]
    |  i. s.: Acredula macrura Seeb. 1883 [=A. caudata var. macrura] M01
    |--Sylviparus Burton 1836 JT12, B94
    |    `--S. modestus JT12
    `--+--Melanochlora sultanea (Hodgs. 1836) JT12, W66 [=Parus sultaneus W66; incl. P. flavocristatus W66]
       `--+--+--Parus BKB15
          |  `--Melaniparus BKB15
          |       |--+--M. fasciiventer BKB15 [=Parus fasciiventer JT12]
          |       |  `--M. funereus BKB15 [=Parus funereus JT12]
          |       `--+--M. rufiventris BKB15 [=Parus rufiventris JT12]
          |          `--+--M. albiventris BKB15 [=Parus albiventris JT12]
          |             `--M. niger BKB15 [=Parus niger JT12]
          `--+--+--Lophophanes BKB15
             |  |    |--L. cristatus (Linnaeus 1758) BKB15, M02 [=Parus cristatus JF06]
             |  |    `--L. dichrous BKB15 [=Parus dichrous JF06]
             |  `--Baeolophus JT12
             |       |--B. wollweberi JT12 [=Parus wollweberi JF06]
             |       `--+--B. atricristatus JT12
             |          `--+--B. inornatus JT12 [=Parus inornatus JF06]
             |             `--B. ridgwayi JT12
             `--+--+--Pardaliparus BKB15
                |  |    |--P. amabilis BKB15 [=Parus amabilis JT12, Periparus amabilis JF06]
                |  |    `--+--P. elegans BKB15 [=Parus elegans JT12, Periparus elegans JF06]
                |  |       `--P. venustulus BKB15 [=Parus venustulus JT12]
                |  `--Periparus BKB15
                |       |--+--P. ater Linnaeus 1758 BKB15, M02 [=Parus ater JF06]
                |       |  |    |--P. a. ater VP89
                |       |  |    `--P. a. kuatunensis VP89
                |       |  `--P. melanolophus [=Parus melanolophus] JF06
                |       `--+--P. rubidiventris BKB15 [=Parus rubidiventris JF06]
                |          `--P. rufonuchalis BKB15 [=Parus rufonuchalis JF06]
                `--+--‘Baeolophus’ bicolor BKB15 [=Parus bicolor JF06]
                   `--Poecile BKB15
                        |--+--P. lugubris BKB15 [=Parus lugubris JF06]
                        |  |    |--P. l. lugubris M02
                        |  |    `--‘Parus’ l. fossilis Čapek 1917 M02
                        |  `--+--P. superciliosus BKB15 [=Parus superciliosus JF06]
                        |     `--P. varius JF06 [=Parus varius JT12, Sittiparus varius BKB15]
                        |          |--P. v. varius I92
                        |          |--‘Parus’ v. namiyei Kuroda 1918 I92
                        |          |--‘Parus’ v. olivaceus (Kuroda 1923) I92
                        |          |--‘Parus’ v. orii (Kuroda 1923) I92
                        |          `--‘Parus’ v. owstoni (Ijima 1893) I92
                        `--+--+--P. davidi BKB15 [=Parus davidi JF06]
                           |  `--+--P. montanus BKB15 [=Parus montanus JF06]
                           |     |    |--P. m. montanus JE03
                           |     |    `--‘Parus’ m. borealis JE03
                           |     `--P. palustris (Linnaeus 1758) BKB15, L58 [=Parus palustris JF06]
                           `--+--+--P. carolinensis BKB15 [=Parus carolinensis JF06]
                              |  `--+--P. atricapillus BKB15 [=Parus atricapillus JF06]
                              |     |    |--P. a. atricapillus R68
                              |     |    `--‘Parus’ a. septentrionalis R68
                              |     `--P. gambeli BKB15 [=Parus gambeli JF06]
                              `--+--P. sclateri BKB15 [=Parus sclateri JF06]
                                 `--+--P. cinctus BKB15 [=Parus cinctus JF06]
                                    `--+--P. hudsonicus BKB15 [=Parus hudsonicus JF06]
                                       `--P. rufescens BKB15 [=Parus rufescens JF06]

Inorganic: Parus atricapillus minilorientalus Okamura 1987 O87

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B94] Bock, W. J. 1994. History and nomenclature of avian family-group names. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 222: 1–281.

[BKB15] Burleigh, J. G., R. T. Kimball & E. L. Braun. 2015. Building the avian tree of life using a large-scale, sparse supermatrix. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 53–63.

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[JE03] James, H. F., P. G. P. Ericson, B. Slikas, F.-M. Lei, F. B. Gill & S. L. Olson. 2003. Pseudopodoces humilis, a misclassified terrestrial tit (Paridae) of the Tibetan Plateau: Evolutionary consequences of shifting adaptive zones. Ibis 145: 185–202.

[JT12] Jetz, W., G. H. Thomas, J. B. Joy, K. Hartmann & A. Ø. Mooers. 2012. The global diversity of birds in space and time. Nature 491: 444–448.

[JF06] Jønsson, K. A., & J. Fjeldså. 2006. A phylogenetic supertree of oscine passerine birds. Zoologica Scripta 35: 149–186.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[M01] Madarász, J. 1901. Madarak [Vögel]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 21–39. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[M02] Mlíkovský, J. 2002. Cenozoic Birds of the World. Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press: Praha.

[O87] Okamura, C. 1987. New facts: Homo and all Vertebrata were born simultaneously in the former Paleozoic in Japan. Original Report of the Okamura Fossil Laboratory 15: 347–573.

[R68] Rising, J. D. 1968. A multivariate assessment of interbreeding between the chickadees, Parus atricapillus and P. carolinensis. Systematic Zoology 17 (2): 160–169.

[VP89] Viney, C., & K. Phillipps. 1989. Birds of Hong Kong 5th ed. Government Printer: Hong Kong.

[W66] Walden, A. 1866. Notes on birds collected in Tennasserim and in the Andaman Islands. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 537–556.

Last updated: 23 July 2019.

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