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Red-headed Bullfinch

From Opus

MalePhoto by robinmBhutan, April 2008
Photo by robinm
Bhutan, April 2008
Pyrrhula erythrocephala


[edit] Identification

Photo by VadimMustang, Nepal, June 2017
Photo by Vadim
Mustang, Nepal, June 2017

17 cm (6¾ in). A medium-large bullfinch with a short, curved bill and a long, notched tail.

  • Reddish or yellowish nape
  • Grey-brown mantle (more olive or ochraceous in shorter-tailed female Orange Bullfinch)
  • Black mask diffusely bordered with white
  • White rump patch (not bordered above by black)
  • Glossier blue-black wings and tail than Grey-headed Bullfinch
  • Male with bright orange crown, hindneck and breast (more bronzy in subadult males)
  • Female with greenish-yellow crown and hindneck and grey underparts

Juveniles like females but tawny-brown overall and with no black on forehead and less on face

[edit] Distribution

Found in the Himalayas from southeast Kashmir east to Nepal, Bhutan, northeast India and southeast Tibet.
Common or locally common. Erratic occurence.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.

[edit] Habitat

Found in submontane and lower montane conifer forest and open mixed deciduous and conifer forests.
Occurs at 2400-4200 m, lower down in non-breeding season.

[edit] Behaviour

Usually seen in pairs or small, often single-sex flocks, in non-breeding season in larger flocks of 20 to 30 birds, sometimes more. A rather lethargic species, spending long times in on place.

[edit] Diet

Feeds on seeds. Takes also buds, willow catkings, berries, nectar and some arthropods.
Forages low in vegetation and bushes or on the ground.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season from May to August. The nest is a cup made of plant fibres, twigs, roots and lichen. It's placed up to 3 m above the ground in a small tree. Lays 3-4 eggs.

[edit] Movements

A resident species with some altitudinal movements. Descends to lower levels of breeding range in non-breeding season.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2014)

[edit] External Links


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