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Rufous-headed Robin - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Andrew Whitehouse
Sichuan, China, June 2018
Larvivora ruficeps


15 cm (6 in)


  • Rufous-chestnut crown, ear-coverts and nape
  • White chin and throat enclosed by black from lores to neck side and across upper breast
  • Slate-grey upperparts
  • Slightly paler mid-breast shading to white belly
  • Blackish tail, rufous-chestnut bases of outer rectrices
  • Blackish bill
  • Pinkish legs


  • Darker ear-coverts
  • Stippled dark throat
  • Flanks more grey than buff
  • Tail with rufous (not blue) tinge

Juveniles undescribed.

Similar Species

Female is very similar to female of Siberian Blue Robin


Breeds in east-central China (southern Shaanxi south to northern Sichuan), recorded there from mid-May to August.
Wintering grounds unknown, recorded on passage in peninsular Malaysia (once in 1963) and recently in Cambodia (the first observation of a first-year bird, 2012).
Declining restricted-range species. Global population estimated at 2500 - 10'000 adult birds.


This is a monotypic species.
Recent research suggests that this species belongs to a new genus, uniting the East Asian Erithacus and Luscinia Robins. It is therefore moved from the genus Luscinia to the genus Larvivora.


Temperate forests and shrubland. Occurs at 2400 - 2800m.
At lower elevations replaced by Indian Blue Robin.



Feeds on earthworms and plants. No other information about diet.


Breeding season from May to August. One nest recorded 0.5m above the ground in a mossy fork in a small tree.


  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 http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2005. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 10: Cuckoo-Shrikes to Thrushes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334726
  3. Avibase
  4. Blog entry about the discovery of the first-year bird in Cambodia

Recommended Citation

External Links