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the web of life in southern Africa

Parus griseiventris (Miombo tit, Northern grey tit) 

Miombogrysmees [Afrikaans]; Miombo-mees [Dutch]; Mésange à ventre gris [French]; Miombomeise [German]; Chapim-do-miombo [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 griseiventris (Miombo tit, Northern grey tit)  Parus griseiventris (Miombo tit, Northern grey tit)

Miombo tit, Democratic Republic of the Congo. [photo Neil Gray ©]

Miombo tit, Mutinondo, Zambia. [photo Warwick Tarboton ©]

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to central Africa from Tanzania and southern DRC to Zambia, with isolated populations in Angola and Zimbabwe. Here it is locally common in well-developed miombo (Brachystegia), more rarely in other broad-leaved woodlands such as Baikiaea plurijuga (Zambezi teak).

Distribution of Miombo 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, especially spiders, caterpillars and other insect larvae. It catches most of its prey from crevices in bark or patches of lichen. It sometimes joins mixed-species foraging flocks along with the Ashy tit.


  • Its breeding habits are little known, but it is probably a facultative cooperative breeder (i.e. the breeding pair might be assisted by helpers).
  • The nest is a thick pad built of animal hair and fine plant fibres, usually placed in either a natural tree cavity or an old barbet or woodpecker nest. It also has occasionally been recorded to place it in a steel fence post or termite mound.
  • It lays 3-5 eggs during August-December, with egg-laying activity peaking in September.


Not threatened, although the fragmentation of miombo (Brachystegia) woodland in Zimbabwe is definitely cause for concern.


  • 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.