Bearded Tit

Panurus biarmicus Linnaeus, 1758

Calamophilus biarmicus Leach.: Dimitrov, 1909: 119.

Order Passeriformes

Family Timaliidae

Conservation status: in Bulgaria: Endangered EN [B2a+B2c+C2a(i)+C2b], BDA-III; International: BeC-II.

General distribution. A Palearctic species with a scattered breeding ranga embracing the whole of Eurasia (from England to Japan). The northern border is from the Netherlands through Poland, Lithuania, the Northern Black Sea coast and Kazakhstan to Hokkaido island. In the south it reaches the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, Iran, Central Asia and China [1]. In Europe breeding populations exist in most countries, with more considerable numbers in Romania, Russia, Austria, etc. [2].

Distribution and abundance in Bulgaria. A breeding summer visitor and wintering species. In the past it bred in Srebarna Lake and along the Black Sea coast [3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. At present it breeds in less than 10 breeding places along the Black Sea coast: Durankulak Lake [8], Shabla Lake [9], Atanasovsko Ezero lake [10], Pomoriysko Ezero lake and the Poda locality [8] and along the valley of the Danube [11]. In land the country it breeds irregularly in wetlands with a small area along the Vit River, a reservoir near the village of Dragomirovo, an old river bed of the Iskar River near the village of Orehovitsa, along the Osam River, etc. [11]. The total numbers in the country are between 250 and 600 pairs [12]. Outside the breeding period it is found in lakes, marshes, swamps, fishponds and other wetlands with reedbeds.

Habitats. Marshes, swamps, lakes and mouths of rivers, abundantly overgrown with reed.

Biology. It breeds amongst reed and other marsh/swamp vegetation, sometimes in loose colonies. Both birds take part in the building of the nest and the raising of the young ones. It lays between 4 8 (rarely 3 11) eggs once or twice a year. Incubation usually lasts for about 11 12 days [1, 13]. The food basically consists of insects and their larvae, as well as seeds.

Similar species. None.

Negative factors. Unknown, most probably destruction and degradation of the habitats.

Conservation measures taken. Protected according to the Biological Diversity Act. Included in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria (1985). Some of the breeding places are in protected territories along the Black Sea coast (Durankulak Lake, Shabla Lake, Atanasovsko Ezero lake).

Conservation measures needed. Study of the factors that have a negative impact on the numbers of the breeding populations.

References. 1. Nankinov, 1985; 2. Gosler, Mogyorosi, 1997; 3. Reiser, 1894; 4. Petrov, Zlatanov, 1955; 5. Konigstedt, Robel, 1977; 6. Hubalek, 1978; 7. Nankinov, Darakchiev, 1977; 8. Iankov, 1996; 9. Ivanov, 1998; 10. Michev et al., 2004; 11. Shurulinkov et al., 2005; 12. Iankov (ed.), 2007; 13. Cramp, Perrins (Eds), 1993.

Author: Nevena Kambourova, Boris Nikolov

Bearded Tit (distribution map)

Bearded Tit (drawing)