Number of species: 10 species
phylum class subclass order monotypic order suborder family
Penduline titmice (sometimes called penduline tits) are small passerines (PASS-uh-reenz; perching songbirds) with short wings and tails, delicate heads, and straight bills. Plumage (feathers) is the same over the entire body, being dull-colored in both males and females. But the actual body color and shape differs widely among species. Upperparts range from pale grays, whites, and yellows to chestnut and olive green, and underparts range from white to yellow. Some adult species have black masks on the head and deep chestnut on the back. A few species are bright yellow or red. Tail length also varies: some are very short while others are relatively long. Their feet have four toes, all at the same level. The hind toe points backward, allowing them to firmly grip slender perches. One of the more constant features of penduline tits is the bill, which is shaped like a cone with a needle-like point, more sharply pointed than in other titmice. Penduline tits are 3.0 to 4.3 inches (7.5 to 11 centimeters) long and weigh between 0.16 and 0.44 ounces (4.6 and 12.5 grams).
Penduline tits are widely found from Africa through Europe and into Asia. One species, the verdin, is located in North America, specifically in southwest United States and northern Mexico.
Penduline tits are found in a large range of open country habitats including deserts, large reed beds in marshes and along riverbanks, and scrublands and forests.
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