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Welcome to the Opus, an interactive, multimedia encyclopaedia that anyone can edit. You can use the Opus to find out about everything to do with birds - from the birds themselves to the places you can find them.

Featured Article: Ibisbill

Photo © by Yeshey Dorji
Babesa, western Bhutan, 26 November 2004



  • Grey-brown upperparts
  • White underparts
  • Long decurved brown to deep red beak (68-82 mm, 26.8-32.3 inches)
  • Female similar to male, but slightly larger with slightly longer beak


  • Browner with less well defined plumage pattern
  • Upperparts have pale fringes


  • Plumage almost inseparable from that of adult, except for darker red base of beak
  • A few brown feathers in upperparts and sometimes keeps a mainly white face for several months


  • Greyish down with darker black and brown markings
  • Long brownish beak


Breeds in gravelly mountain river valleys normally lacking any vegetation, from 500 to 4400 m. Recently discovered nesting at just 270 m near Beijing, China.

Is found at similar habitats in winter, but at lower altitudes, sometimes as low as 100 m.

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