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Sunda Forktail - BirdForum Opus

Photo by James Eaton
Bukit Tapan, Sumatra, Indonesia, June 2008

Alternative name: Lesser Forktail

Enicurus velatus


16 cm.

  • White forehead and short supercilium
  • Grey crown to nape, dark grey rest of head, neck, back and wings
  • Black chin and upper throat
  • Faint white wingbar
  • White rump and breast to belly
  • Black deeply forked tail with white feather tips creating white bands, entirely white two outher feathers

Sexes similar but females with chocolate-brown crown and nape. Juvenile undescribed.


Sumatra and Java, Indonesia.
A restricted-range species. Common in Sumatra, much rarer in Java (and less common there than White-crowned Forktail) Indonesia.


Two subspecies recognized:


Rocky streams in mountain and hill forest.
Occurs from 600 to 2000 m in Sumatra, from 600 to 1800 in Java but sometimes lower.



Feeds on water insects, their larvae and snails.


Breeding season in August in Sumatra, January and April to July in western Java. Nest similar to the one of White-crowned Forktail. Lays 2 eggs.


A sedentary species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.2). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2015)

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