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Large Niltava - BirdForum Opus

Male, Nominate subspecies
Photo by paux
West Yunnan, China, February 2016
Niltava grandis


20–22 cm (7¾-8½ in)

  • Overall dark slaty blue, can appear black from a distance
  • Blue shiny crown and shoulder stripe distinctive, can be striking
  • Black throat and breast


  • Olive-brown
  • Lighter belly

Juvenile - light-brown with whitish spots

Photo by galee
Fraser Hill, Malaysia, April 2009


Nepal, Bhutan, western India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and southwest China.


Large Niltava has four subspecies:

  • N. g. grandis:
  • N. g. griseiventris:
  • Southern China (south-eastern Yunnan)
  • N. g. decipiens:
  • N. g. decorata:
  • Southern Laos (Langbian Plateau)


Humid, dense, broad-leafed forest, often near a stream.



Male below, juvenile above
Photo by the late Laurence Poh
Cameron Highlands, Peninsular Malaysia

Their diet consists of small to medium insects, crickets and even small snakes. They also eat small berries.


The nest is cup-shaped (either open or domed) constructed from mosses, lichen and rootlets and placed among rocks, beside a tree-trunk, or in a shallow cavity in a rotten stump at about 6 meters from the ground.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Answers.com
  3. Kazmierczak, K and B van Perlo. 2000. A Field Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0300079210
  1. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved December 2016)

Recommended Citation

External Links