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Parus carpi (Carp's tit, Carp's black tit) 

Ovamboswartmees [Afrikaans]; Carp-mees [Dutch]; Mésange de Carp [French]; Rüppellmeise [German]; Chapim de Carp [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Paridae

Parus carpi (Carp's tit, Carp's black tit)   

Carp's tit, Kunene River Lodge, Namibia. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]


Distribution and habitat

It occurs from central to north-western Namibia, extending marginally in to south-western Angola. It generally favours savanna woodland on hills and escarpments, also occurring in dry riverine woodland and farmhouse gardens.

Distribution of Carp's tit in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).


It eats mainly eats insects, often foraging in the lower branches of trees, gleaning insects from leaves and crevices in bark. However at certain times of the year its diet consists mostly of seeds.


  • The nest is a platform built of soft, fine material, placed in a natural cavity of a tree.
  • Egg-laying season is from November-January.
  • It lays 2-5 eggs, which are incubated solely by the female for about 13-15 days. The male feeds her quite regularly, but she still has to go on foraging trips once in a while.
  • The chicks are brooded by the female, who also hands them the food that the male gathers (he rarely gives it to them directly). They stay in the nest for about 18 days, becoming self-sufficient a few days later.


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.