Fun Masked Tityra Facts For Kids

Abhishek Mishra
Oct 20, 2022 By Abhishek Mishra
Originally Published on Aug 29, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Interesting masked tityra facts for kids.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.9 Min

The medium-sized passerine bird, the masked tityra (Tityra semifasciata) is found in Mexico and several countries of Central and South America such as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, El Salvador, and Paraguay. A vagrant population has also been observed in the United States of America.

The species has whitish-black plumage with a red eye-ring and base of the bill. In male birds, the plumage is generally white while black spots surround the distinctive bare red face mask and eye rings.

Black edging around the tail and wings can also be seen. Female birds have a brownish head while a gray head is quite common in west Mexico. The bill of this species is generally red that turns paler towards the tip.

This species has several subspecies such as Tityra semifasciata semifasciata, Tityra semifasciata griseiceps, Tityra semifasciata hannumi, and Tityra semifasciata personata. This bird species inhabits tropical and subtropical forests, agricultural lands, second-growth forest, and plantation forest.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the species in the Least Concern category but threats such as predation and loss of habitat could affect the masked tityra bird in the future.

Let's read more fun facts about the masked tityra, and if you find this article interesting, don't forget to check out exciting facts about different animals like the whiskered treeswift and willow warbler.

Masked Tityra Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a masked tityra?

The masked tityra (Tityra semifasciata) is a neotropical bird found in Mexico and several parts of South and Central America. The fascinating medium-sized bird has nine subspecies.

What class of animal does a masked tityra belong to?

The masked tityra (Tityra semifasciata) belongs to the class of Aves, the Tityridae family, genus Tityra. Species such as the black-tailed tityra and black-crowned tityra belong to the same genus.

How many masked tityras are there in the world?

The exact population of masked tityras birds is not known. As of now, these birds are widespread in several parts of North, South, and Central America. Studies revealed that this species has been observed more than 120,000 times in different locations.

Where does a masked tityra live?

While looking at the masked tityra range map, these birds are found in Mexico and they are widely distributed in several parts of Central and South America. You can find these neotropical birds in countries such as Brazil, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Paraguay.

A vagrant population has been witnessed in a few parts of the United States.

What is a masked tityra's habitat?

Like the black-tailed tityra, these birds dwell in second-growth forests, tropical or subtropical forests, plantation forests, semi-open habitats such as plantation shade trees and forest edges.

Who do masked tityras live with?

Very little is known about the social behavior of the masked tityra (Tityra semifasciata) but it is said that these bird feed in small groups. Like other species of the Tityridae family, during the breeding season, this species is found in pairs.

How long does a masked tityra live?

The average lifespan of the masked tityra (Tityra semifasciata) is not known at the moment.

How do they reproduce?

Very little is known about the breeding patterns of the masked tityra (Tityra semifasciata) but it is said that these birds generally use similar breeding methods as the black-tailed tityra. The breeding season of the species is not known but these birds are involved in multiple courtship displays.

Male birds generally sing and hover around the female birds to impress them.

These birds primarily use tree cavities or the old nests of woodpeckers for nesting. The female masked tityra lays around two eggs that are not incubated by the male. Both male and female birds feed their chicks and the young fledge after about three weeks.

What is their conservation status?

 The population of these birds seems to be stable as of now, even the International Union for Conservation of Nature listed the species in the Least Concern category. In the future, the numbers of these birds may be affected by threats such as habitat destruction and predation.

Masked Tityra Fun Facts

What do masked tityras look like?

The masked tityra bird is commonly found with whitish-black feathers and an eye-ring covered in a red color. Unlike females, male birds have white plumage while black patches surround the distinctive head, red face mask, and eye rings.

Generally, females have a brownish head while the residents of west Mexico have a gray head. The red-colored bill generally turns paler towards the tip.

These masked tityra facts will make you love them.

How cute are they?

This silvery-gray species of tropical forests is very adorable. The reddish or pinkish mask around the eyes makes the bird different from others. If the bird had long teeth then it would surely look like a cute little mandrill.

How do they communicate?

Like other birds of the Tityridae family, these birds use similar methods to communicate. They have a squeaky song like 'chet-chet-chet' and a buzzing sound like 'zrrt-zrrt-zrrt'. These calls are used to find their mates or to alert others to avoid predation. These birds also perform several courtship displays during the breeding season to attract each other.

How big is a masked tityra?

The average body weight and length of this species are around 0.13 lb (60 g) and 7.87-8.66 in (20-22 cm) respectively. These birds are twice the size of chipping sparrows and savannah sparrows.

How fast can a masked tityra fly?

The exact speed of the masked tityra is not known as of now but they became quite active while avoiding predation.

How much does a masked tityra weigh?

The weight of this medium-sized species is around 0.13 lb (60 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

No specific name is given to the male and female birds. People generally call them male masked tityras or female masked tityras.

What would you call a baby masked tityra?

The term chicks is generally used to refer to the babies of masked tityras. Both parents usually feed their babies.

What do they eat?

Like other species of the Tityridae family, these birds are omnivores and generally feed on fruits and insects such as puss moths and ground beetles. Species of the Tityra genus sometimes also feed on small lizards. These birds even climb through foliage for fruits and berries.

Are they dangerous?

Generally, these birds are not considered dangerous but can become aggressive if someone tries to provoke or harm them.

Would they make a good pet?

Masked tityras are not considered good pets as these birds generally belong to the wild. Also, keeping them in captivity would not be easy.

Did you know...

These birds do not migrate and generally remain in their normal range throughout the year but short-distance movements have been noted.

Is the masked tityra endemic?

No, masked tityras are not endemic to a particular country but are widely distributed to several countries of South and Central America. These birds can easily be found in countries like Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bolivia, and Paraguay. Also, they have appeared in small numbers in a few parts of the United States.

How to tell female and male masked tityras apart?

These birds are sexually dimorphic and both males and females exhibit different physical features. Females have brownish upperparts while males possess grayish-white upperparts.

The female has a brownish or grayish head while the male has a black head. Male masked tityras generally resemble black-tailed tityras but have a smaller black face and a white tip at the tail. The beautiful red or pinkish face mask helps to spot these birds.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our magpie fun facts and hawk interesting facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable birds of prey coloring pages.

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Written by Abhishek Mishra

Bachelor of Arts specializing in History

Abhishek Mishra picture

Abhishek MishraBachelor of Arts specializing in History

As a content writer, Abhishek's passion for writing extends beyond professional content creation. With a Bachelor's degree in History from Ram Lal Anand College in Delhi, Abhishek is a skilled writer in both English and Hindi, bringing a creative flair to his work. He enjoys crafting satires and poetry and is dedicated to producing engaging and informative content.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

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Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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