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Eurasian penduline-tit

Remiz pendulinus

Photo by Armando Caldas (Flickr)

Common name:
Eurasian penduline-tit (en); chapim-de-faces-pretas (pt); rémiz penduline (fr); pájaro moscón europeo (es); beutelmeise (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Remizidae

The Eurasian penduline-tit breeds in Europe and western Asia, from the Iberian Peninsula north to southern Sweden and east to Turkey, Kazakhstan and southern Russia. The more northern populations migrate south to winter in southern Europe, Morocco, northern Egypt and the Middle East.

These birds are 10-12 cm long and have a wingspan of 16-18 cm. They weigh 10 g.

Eurasian penduline-tits occur in a variety of wetland habitats, including estuaries, lakes, rivers, canals, streams, or swamps, fresh or brackish water marshes and coastal lagoons where they can find luxuriant aquatic vegetation, especially reeds mixed with tall herbage, tamarisk, willow, and poplar. They are found from sea level up to an altitude of 650 m.

They mainly feed on insect larvae and spiders, but also some seeds, especially during winter.

These birds breed in April-July. The nest is a large, free-hanging domed pouch-like structure with a short downward-projecting entrance tube near the top. It is made of plant fibres, especially hop, nettle, and grass, woven and compacted tightly to felt-like consistency with plant down, and animal hair, particularly sheep wool. The nest is lined with plant down, and more rarely feathers, and placed hanging from the outermost twigs of a small tree, often over water. There the female lays 5-9 white eggs with reddish spots, which are either incubated by the male or female, but never by both, for 13-14 days. The chicks are raised by the parent who incubated the eggs and fledge 18-24 days after hatching. They can raise 2 broods per year.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the population in Europe is estimated at 630.000-1.260.000 individuals, while representing just 25-50% of the global range. The population is estimated to be increasing following substantial recorded range expansions and only minor range contractions.

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