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Parus rufiventris (Rufous-bellied tit)

Rooipensmees [Afrikaans]; Swartkopmees [Afrikaans]; Roestbuikmees [Dutch]; Mésange à ventre cannelle [French]; Rotbauchmeise [German]; Chapim-arruivado [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 rufiventris (Rufous-bellied tit) Parus rufiventris (Rufous-bellied tit)

Rufous-bellied tit. [photo Stephen Davis ©]

Rufous-bellied tit, Shamvura, Namibia. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to central Africa, occurring from Angola and southern DRC to Zambia and northern Mozambique, extending marginally into southern Africa. Here it is uncommon to locally common in north-eastern Namibia (including the Caprivi Strip), with a separate population in northern and eastern Zimbabwe bordering on Mozambique. It generally prefers well-developed miombo (Brachystegia) woodland, also occupying woodlands dominated by Baikiaea plurijuga (Zambezi teak), Burkea africana (Burkea), Pterocarpus angolensis (Kiaat) and Uapaca kirkiana (Mahabohobo).

Distribution of Rufous-bellied 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).


Forages in the tree canopy, gleaning insects from crevices in bark, leaves and stems.


  • Very little is known about its breeding habits, but it is probably a cooperative breeder.
  • The nest is a soft pad of dry grass, leaves and other plant matter, placed in a natural tree cavity.
  • Egg-laying season is from September-December.
  • It lays 3-4 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes.


Not threatened, although fragmentation of Zimbabwe's miombo (Brachystegia) woodland is 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.