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23 févr. 2015

Tits and the Paridae family

Thanks to the Swedish naturalist Charles Linné ( 1707-1778 ) and to his book "Systema naturae" we can rest on a classification system or taxinomic ranks to identify birds (and all animals) and to determine the degree of relationship between the various species.

French version HERE.

Hierarchy of biological classification's major taxonomic ranks:
Life → Domain → Kingdom → Phylum → Class → Order → Family Genus → Species.

As all animals, birds have particular characteristics: anatomical (beak, feathers, wings, eggs), physiological and behavioural (migration, adaptation to the environment). They are part of the Aves class. They are flighted and tetrapod (4 fingers) vertebrates belonging to the dinosaur branch.

Tits belong to:
- The Passeriforme Order, the largest of the Aves class. Most of these birds are called "Song birds"; they have strong and complex jaw muscles to control their syrinx, they are all fed in a nest. They are anisodactyl (three fingers towards the front and one backwards), contrary to pecker birds wich are zygodactyl. Most of the  passerine birds are smaller than birds from the other orders, corvids excepted.
- The Paridae Family, made up of 8 genders such as Lophophanes, Cyanistes, Periparus et Poecile.
- The Parus Gender, about 59 species.

Mésange à longue queue - Long-tailed tit
Aegithalos caudatus



Particular case: the Long-tailed tit of the Aegithalidae Family.



Paridae birds are small, very sociable, active, fairly stocky an,d have short beaks. They are tree dwellers, insectivores and seed eaters; males and females look much alike and the young much like the adults.
They are found mainly in the northern hemisphere and in Africa in woody areas including tall trees with large canopies. In winter, much like woodpeckers and nuthatches, they get into temporary daily routines; it could be why these species come together at our feeders. In numbers they feel more secure and the search for food is easier as they remain in constant contact through very specific calls and song  according to different situations:

One of their predators, the European sparrowhawk
Accipiter nisus

- cohesion calls for a constant contact.
- Alarm calls in case of the arrival of a predator such as sparrowhawks, buzzards or goshawks; a tit's alarm call will be correctly interpreted by the other species in the area.
- Seduction songs  in spring to attract and induce females into breeding condition.
- announcement calls to advertise the discovery of a food source.





Blue tit



Great tit
Parus major


For more info about Biological classification see HERE.

4 commentaires :

  1. Reallly magnificent bird photos!

    On a side note, Linné (originally Carolus Linnaeus) -- acknowledged as the "father of taxonomy" -- was also a famous botanist. And I love visiting the Linnaeus House here in St. Louis, at the Missouri Botanical Gardens . . . recognized as the oldest continually operated greenhouse in America. Small world.

    RépondreSupprimer
    Réponses
    1. Thanks for briging this up, Rick, I guess Darwin too was a botanist.

      Supprimer
  2. Most interesting to read Noushka and Patrick. And the captures are again a magnificant compliment to this information.
    Thank you,
    Roos

    RépondreSupprimer
  3. Interesting info thanks Noushka.
    The Crested Tit image is magnificent.

    RépondreSupprimer

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