Coal Tit Higara

Coal Tit       日雀      ヒガラ

学名:Periparus ater (Linnaeus 1758)

Parus ater. “dusky-black tit” –

The genus name, Parus, is the Latin for “tit”.

The specific ater is Latin for “dull black”.

Photo Danjo Garan November 29, 2019

This little acrobat hopped and leaped from branch to bough spinning my camera eye into dizzyness.  It danced around this Cherry tree and then entered the green maze of the Cedar behind it.

Its distinctive feature is its cute little tuft of tiny feathers on its crest.

日本では亜種ヒガラ(学名:Periparus ater insularis)が北海道、本州、四国、九州 に周年生息する I believe this is the subspecies that I photographed in the garan area.

Yamagara Varied Tit Cute Bird

This is a Varied Tit in a Japanese Yew tree.  He is gorging on the yummy red fruits.  They are also edible for people, but don’t eat the seeds!


学名:Parus varius             Poecile varius


The varied tit (Sittiparus varius) is a perching bird from the tit family, Paridae. It occurs in eastern Asia in Japan, Korea, and locally in northeastern China and extreme southeastern Russia (southern Kurile Islands ).

The varied tit was described by the Dutch zoologist Coenraad Jacob and the German ornithologist Hermann Schlegel in 1845 and given the binomial name Parus varius.

The genus name, Parus, is the Latin for “tit”.

tit‘ was an Old English word for something small. (100’s of years before it became slang for boobs)

What a lovely colorful bird.  It’s all over the mountains of Japan if you are patient enough to stop and let it come to you (or near you).

Varied Tits utter a nasal call like “Nee, nee”, “Tsweee”, etc. Their song sounds like “Tsoo-tsoo-bee, tsoo-tsoo-bee” with the accent on the third syllable. However, the vocalization varies considerably from one subspecies to another.

Bird Research News Volume 2 No. 12   2005 12 14

©Japan Bird Research Association

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