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Hoary-throated Barwing

From Opus

Photo © by Peter MerrittNepal, 2015
Photo © by Peter Merritt
Nepal, 2015

Alternative name: Hoary Barwing

Actinodura nipalensis


[edit] Identification

FemalePhoto © by Sonam DorjiBhutan, October 2015
Photo © by Sonam Dorji
Bhutan, October 2015

21cm (8ΒΌ in). A medium-sized babbler:

  • Strikingly long crown feathers creating dark floppy crest with pale shaft-streaks
  • Black-and-tan barring on wings and tail
  • Pale grey throat and upper breast
  • Broad blackish moustache
  • Diffuse dark streaks on mantle and scapulars

Sexes similar.
Juveniles have a browner crest and cheek and a weaker moustache

[edit] Similar species

Streak-throated Barwing is similar, but overlapping subspecies daflaensis has a very weak moustache and grey-brown streaks on a whitish breast and upper belly.

[edit] Distribution

Found from Nepal east along the Himalayas to Bhutan, northeast India and adjacent Tibet.
Restricted-range species but common in parts of its range.

[edit] Taxonomy

Has been considered conspecific with Streak-throated Barwing or may form a superspecies with it.
Hybrids obviously occur.
Sometimes placed in the genus Ixops.

[edit] Subspecies

There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • A. n. nipalensis :
  • Oak-rhododendron forests of western and central Nepal
  • A. n. vinctura:
  • East Nepal to south-eastern Tibet (Pome District), Sikkim and Bhutan

Subspecies vinctura is often merged with nominate.

[edit] Habitat

Found in oak forest, mixed oak, conifer and rhododendron forest, usually with plenty of undergrowth. Occurs at 1830 - 3500m, in winter sometimes lower.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds on beetles, caterpillars and other insects. Takes also berries, flowers and seeds.
Outside the breeding season usually seen in groups of 3 - 10 birds, joins sometimes bird waves. Forages in upper branches of middle-sized trees.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season from April to June. Only one nest is described which was a small cup made of fine grasses. Lays 2 eggs.

[edit] Movements

Resident species, in harsh winters some altitudinal movement possible.

[edit] References

  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
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553422
  3. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672

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