Sombre Tits (Poecile lugubris)

The Sombre Tits (Poecile lugubris) are found in southeastSombre Tit (Poecile lugubris) Europe and southwest Asia, where they inhabit low density forests as well as breeding in fruit orchards.  They are most common at elevations ranging between 1000 and 1600 metres above sea level.  Within their range, they are generally resident, except for some slight local movements.

Geographic range:

  • Poecile lugubris lugubris : Southeast Europe south to northern Greece; Crete - a Greek island that is located about 160 km (99 mi) south of the Greek mainland.
    • Poecile lugubris [anatoliae or lugens]: South Greece to Turkey, western Georgia, Armenia, northern Iraq and northwestern Iran
    • Poecile lugubris dubius: Western Iran (Zagros Mountains); winters to northeast Iraq


Plumage is black, white and greyish-brown, with narrow white ear patches and an extensive black bib.

Nesting / Breeding:

Most breeding activities occur from early April till the end of July or beginning of August. 

They usually make their nests in tree cavities, such as holes in junipers, willows, poplars, and other relevant tree species. Although there have been reports of them nesting in man-made structures, such as iron pipes used for orchard fencing.

The female usually lays 4 to 9 eggs and produces two clutches per year.


They mostly feed on insects.

Songs / Vocalizations:

Their calls are described as “Si-si-si…".

Global Names:

  • English:  Sombre Tit
  • Catalan:  mallerenga fosca
  • Chinese:  暗山雀 / 灰暗山雀
  • Croatian:  Mrka sjenica
  • Czech:  sýkora temná
  • Danish:  Sørgemejse
  • Dutch:  Rouwmees
  • German:  Trauermeise
  • Finnish:  balkanintiainen
  • French:  Mésange lugubre
  • Hungarian:  Füstös cinege
  • Icelandic:  Grámeisa
  • Italian:  Cincia dalmatina
  • Japanese:  barukankogara / バルカンコガラ
  • Lithuanian:  Dūminė zylė
  • Norwegian:  Balkanmeis
  • Polish:  sikora zalobna
  • Portuguese:  Chapim-lúgubre
  • Russian:  Средиземноморская гаичка
  • Serbian:  mediteranska sjenica
  • Slovak:  sýkorka smútočná
  • Spanish:   Carbonero Lúgubre
  • Swedish:  Balkanmes
  • Ukrainian:  Гаїчка середземноморська


Please Note: The articles or images on this page are the sole property of the authors or photographers. Please contact them directly with respect to any copyright or licensing questions. Thank you.