Japanese Tit

The Japanese tit (Parus minor) is a resident of woodlands. It also adapts well to humans and is common in parks, gardens and other urban settings. These pictures were taken at a small park in Sakaide, Japan.

The great tit (Parus major) can be found throughout Asia, Europe and Northern Africa. Until recently the Japanese tit was classified as a subspecies of the great tit. Around 2005 DNA studies demonstrated that the Japanese tit of Eastern Asia was genetically different from the great tit. Since the two species can co-exist without hybridization, the Japanese tit was reclassified as a separate species. Even today this nomenclature has still not been completely accepted.

The Japanese tit has a black crown, head, neck and bib, distinctive white cheek patch, bluish grey wings with a white wing bar and a white to slightly yellowish breast. A black midline stripe extends from the bib to the vent. (I included a very poor picture to illustrate the midline. The tits were not cooperative subjects and I did not get any decent photographs.)

During the summer Japanese tits eat insects and spiders which they glean from foliage. Their winter diets expands to include seeds and berries.

Japanese tits are generally not migratory except under harsh conditions.

Eastern great tit and Oriental tit are two other common names for the Japanese tit.

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2 Responses to Japanese Tit

  1. HealingHope2000@aol.com says:

    What a pretty little bird !!!

    • gingkochris says:

      It was a cute little bird – but absolutely would not sit still long enough for decent photographs. Maybe a Japanese tit will be more inclined to be photographed on our next trip to Japan.

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