Longtailed Titmice Aegithalidae

Class: Aves Order: Passeriformes Family: Aegithalidae Number of species: 8 species

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PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Long-tailed titmice range in length from 3.5 to 6.3 inches (8.9 to 16 centimeters) and weigh 0.14 to 0.32 ounces (4 to 9 grams). The birds derive their name from their characteristic long tails, with the longest tail belonging to the long-tailed tit, whose tail makes up half of its length. Both male and female adults tend to be alike in their feathers, with dark gray or brown, and sometimes lighter shades, on top, and with white underneath. Some species have what looks like a black mask. Some have pink tints to their feathers on their tails and shoulders. Their feathers are arranged loosely all over their bodies, giving them a fluffy look. Given their size and appearance, they are often a favorite with birdwatchers.

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE

One species of titmice, the bushtits, can be found in western North America, from the northernmost parts of British Columbia to the southern regions of Mexico. Five species are found in the Himalayas, and mountainous regions of western China. Long-tailed tits, the species that is most common, have a range from Western Europe and Asia, to China and Japan. Pygmy tits, the smallest titmice species, can only be found on the Indonesian island of Java.

HABITAT

Long-tailed titmice can be found primarily inhabiting the shrub layers and edges of forests and woodlands among the leafy trees and dense thickets. Those inhabiting the Himalayas phylum class subclass order monotypic order suborder family and mountains in China are normally found at elevations between 4,000 and 8,860 feet (1,200 to 2,700 meters). White-throated tits can be found living in the mountains at elevations as high as 13,100 feet (4,000 meters), up to the top of the tree line, the elevation where trees do not grow. North American bushtits are also at home in suburbs, parks, and gardens.

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