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Himalayan Shortwing - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Ayuwat J
Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiangmai, Thailand.
Brachypteryx cruralis
Photo © by bambuza
Chiangmai, Thailand, August 2011


13 cm
Male is dark blue with rather shiny iridescence in the right light, except that lores are black. It has a white supercilium that can be very obvious when it is displaying but is very often hidden.
Female is olive brown with greyish wash below. It has rusty on forehead, lores, chin and eye-ring, and rufous-buff on undertail, rusty on rump and tail.

Similar species

Chinese Shortwing is greyish blue in the male with grey lores, and different song. Females are rather similar.


Eastern Himalayas to northern Myanmar and western China; winters to northern Indochina


Photo © by firozhussain
Mishimi Hills, Arunachal Pradesh, India June 2016

This is a monotypic species[1].

This species was recently split from White-browed Shortwing.


Seems to prefer thick, humid undergrowth in a variety of highland forested areas for breeding (usually above 2000 m asl) but found in similar habitat in lower elevation outside of breeding season.


Feeds on smaller invertebrates especially insects.


Recording by china guy, Sichuan, China, August 2011


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. del Hoyo, J., N. Collar, and D. A. Christie (2020). Himalayan Shortwing (Brachypteryx cruralis), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.whbsho4.01
  3. Alstrom et al. 2018 Taxonomy of the White-browed Shortwing (Brachypteryx montana) complex on mainland Asia and Taiwan. Avian Research

Recommended Citation

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