White-backed Black-Tit Melaniparus leuconotus

Jason Anderson
Version: 2.0 — Published September 17, 2020


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Very little is known beyond its feeding behavior, documented earlier in this account.


Walking, Running, Hopping, Climbing, etc.

Most commonly observed in flocks or pairs, usually vocal and actively foraging at all levels of the canopy, from treetops and ends of branches to searching for invertebrates among lichen, moss and spiders’ webs on larger boughs and trunks of trees. As is typical of Paridae in general (26), frequently hops along branches, sometimes hanging from branches and twigs on strong legs.


Flight observed to be comparatively weak, typically tit-like, sometimes crossing open spaces close to ground (JA).


No information.

Agonistic Behavior

Very little information. Evidence from eBird that the species is "very responsive" to playback, suggests that males or family groups are, at least sometimes, territorial.


No information.

Sexual Behavior

No information.

Social and Interspecific Behavior

Given the frequently specialized niche-related foraging behavior of other tit species in Africa and the Palearctic (26), the generalist behavior of this species is notable, likely due to the lack of competing Paridae species within much of its high-altitude range. JA observed it on a number of occasions in Eritrea in single-species foraging flocks of 4-8 individuals, including with recently fledged young (discussed under Breeding). On one occasion these individuals were observed foraging on ripe fruits of Ficus sycomorus (3), presumed to be gleaning insects and invertebrates from the fruit.


No information.

Recommended Citation

Anderson, J. (2020). White-backed Black-Tit (Melaniparus leuconotus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.whbblt1.02