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Rufous-fronted bushtit

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Rufous-fronted bushtit
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Aegithalidae
Genus: Aegithalos
A. iouschistos
Binomial name
Aegithalos iouschistos
(Blyth, 1845)

The rufous-fronted bushtit or rufous-fronted tit (Aegithalos iouschistos) is a small passerine bird of the eastern and central Himalayas belonging to the long-tailed tit family, Aegithalidae.

Taxonomy and systematics

The rufous-fronted bushtit forms a superspecies with the black-browed bushtit and white-throated bushtit. They have sometimes been regarded as a single species but are now usually treated as distinct. The ranges of the rufous-fronted and black-browed bushtits overlap slightly in China with no evidence of hybridization.


The rufous-fronted bushtit is 11 cm long. The adult has grey upperparts and reddish-brown underparts. The head is reddish-buff with a black mask and a silver bib with black streaks and a black edge. Juveniles are paler and duller than the adults. The black-browed bushtit is similar but has a white forehead and belly and a white edge to its bib. The white-throated bushtit has a white forehead and bib and a dark breastband.

Distribution and habitat

The rufous-fronted bushtit is found in the eastern and central Himalayas in Bhutan, China, India and Nepal. It occurs in montane forests, both broad-leaved and coniferous, up to 3,600 m above sea-level. It typically feeds in flocks.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2018). "Aegithalos iouschistos". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T103871775A132045916. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T103871775A132045916.en. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  • Grimmett, Richard, Carol Inskipp & Tim Inskipp (1999) Pocket Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent, Christopher Helm, London.
  • MacKinnon, John & Karen Phillipps (2000) A Field Guide to the Birds of China, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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Rufous-fronted bushtit
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