The genus Parus, of which the Great Tit of England may be considered the type, contains those Tits which are not crested and in which the tail is slightly rounded. They have a broad, black, longitudinal, ventral band, and in this character agree with Machlolophus, which, however, possesses a long pointed crest.
The True Tits are found over a considerable portion of the world. Four species inhabit the Indian Empire, one being extremely common over the whole of the plains; another is found as a comparatively rare visitor from China and the East, and two others are local, being confined to certain portions of the Empire only.
In Parus the feathers of the crown are very slightly Lengthened, but do not form a crest; the tail is considerably shorter than the wing, and the outer feather falls short of the tip of the tail by about the Length of the hind claw.
Of the Titmice which occur in Asia, and may hereafter be found within the limits of this work, may be mentioned : - P. persicus, a Persian race of the European P. caeruleus; P. cyanus, which has been found in Yarkand; and P. flavipectus, which occurs in Turkestan.
P. semilarvatus, which at one time was supposed to occur in the Himalayas, is now known to come from the Philippine Islands. There is no evidence to show that it has ever been found in India, and I therefore omit it.
Key to the Species.
a. Lower plumage white.
a1. Back and rump ashy grey………….P. atriceps, p. 46.
b1. Back yellow; rump ashy grey………….P. minor, p. 48.
c1. Back and rump black………….P. nuchalis, p. 49.
b. Lower plumage yellow………….P. monticola, p. 49.