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Himalayan Bluetail - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Himalayan Bush Robin; Himalayan Red-flanked Bush-robin

Photo by Dave 2x
Doi Lang, Thailand, January 2015
Tarsiger rufilatus


Length 13–15 cm, weight 13-18 g.
Blue tail and reddish flanks.
Marginally larger than Red-flanked Bluetail (with some overlap), with the adult male having darker blue upperparts and whiter underparts; supercilium pale blue (not white in front of eye as in Red-flanked Bluetail).
Females are plain brown above and have a dusky breast.


Photo by Ayuwat J
Doi Lang, Chiangmai, Thailand

Breeds in the Himalayas from northeast Afghanistan through northern Pakistan, northwest India, Nepal to northeast India and southwest China. Winters from northeast India to Indochina.


This is usually treated as a monotypic species, though birds from the west of the range (Afghanistan to western Nepal) are sometimes distinguished as subspecies T. r. pallidior.

It was formerly treated as a subspecies of Red-flanked Bluetail.

Formerly sometimes included in either the genera Erithacus or Luscinia2.


High altitude coniferous forests, from 3,000-4,400 m; lower in winter.


Often seen flicking tail and wings.


Their diet consists mostly of insects, including beetles. They also eat berries and seeds.


It nests near the ground, laying 3-5 eggs which are incubated by the female.


A short distance migrant or near-resident species; western populations migrate southeast to north-eastern India (Assam) and northern Myanmar, and all move to lower levels in winter.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Dickinson, Edward C. (ed.). 2003. The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. 3rd ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691117010
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved January 2015)

Recommended Citation

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