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Rufous-backed Sibia

From Opus

Alternative names: Chestnut-backed Sibia; Chestnut-rumped Sibia; Blyth's Sibia

Photo by robby thaiDoi Ang Khang, Thailand, March 2017
Photo by robby thai
Doi Ang Khang, Thailand, March 2017
Heterophasia annectens

Leioptila annectens


[edit] Identification

Photo by Ayuwat JDoi Inthanon, Chiangmai, Thailand
Photo by Ayuwat J
Doi Inthanon, Chiangmai, Thailand

With 18.5 to 20cm a rather small, short-tailed Sibia1:

  • Black cap and upper mantle (with white streaks)
  • Black wings with white trim
  • White-tipped black tail
  • White throat and breast
  • Back and uppertail coverts mostly rufous, but black in davisoni

Juveniles have shorter bill and slightly narrower rectrices.

[edit] Distribution

Found in the eastern Himalayas from extreme E Nepal over Sikkim, Bhutan, NE India to S China (Yunnan) and south to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
Uncommon in most of its range, but locally common in China and present in many national parks in the region.1

[edit] Taxonomy

Some authorities have placed this species in Minla or in its own genus Leioptila.1
The scientific name is also spelled Heterophasia annectans.

[edit] Subspecies

Clements2 accepts five subspecies:

Others accept also the subspecies davisoni (South Myanmar and West Thailand) which is regarded by others as a black-backed morph of saturata.2

[edit] Habitat

Broadleaf evergreen forest, partly also semi-deciduous forest. Mainly between 1000m and 2650m, locally down to 215m in India. In Bhutan only up to 1400m, higher up replaced by Rufous Sibia.1

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds on insects, takes also seeds. Forages in middle to upper forest storeys, searching for food among moss, lichen and bark crevises.
Usually seen singly, in pairs or small groups of up to 6 birds. Often in bird waves with other Babblers (eg. Blue-winged Minla, Himalayan Cutia and Vietnamese Cutia).

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season from April to June. The nest is a compact cup, made of moss, roots, leaves and fine grasses, placed on a branch of a small tree, 2 - 6 m above the ground. Lays 2 - 4 eggs.

[edit] Movements

Resident species, some altitudinal movement may occur.1

[edit] References

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

  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

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