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Ground Tit | by Frode Falkenberg
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Ground Tit

The former Tibetan Groundpecker or Hume's Ground Jay Pseudopodoces humilis was previously classified as a member of the Crow family Corvidae. With improved DNA analyses it was removed from the family and placed into the Tit family Paridae. It is the only Tit in the world that lives in a habitat with no trees, and is named Ground Tit. As for many bird species in meager habitats, they live in family groups and some of the young and subadult males skip breeding in favour of helping their parents out with their reproduction and brood care. In the common language in Tibet the Ground Tit is called "the wife of the Pika", pointing out that they may breed in the burrows made by this small mammal. However, they normally excavate their own holes in the ground sediments. The photographed bird overlooks its habitat in southeastern Tibet, late September 2004.

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Taken on September 30, 2004