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White-rumped Shama - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by jbpixels
Ban Song Nok, Phetchaburi, Thailand, January 2020
Copsychus malabaricus

Includes: White-crowned Shama


Juvenile, subspecies C. m. tricolor
Photo © by SeeToh
Pulau Ubin, Singapore, 3 June 2018

21–28 cm (8¼-11 in)

  • Black bill
  • Pink feet


  • Glossy black
  • Chestnut belly
  • White feathers on the rump and outer tail

Females: grey-brown head and back. Tail shorter than males
Juvenile: similar to the female, with blotches or spots on the chest. Reduced orange on underparts.


South and south east Asia.

Introduced to Kaua'i, O'ahu and Moloka'i, in the Hawaiian Islands. Seems to be spreading to other islands in Maui County.


Subspecies C. m. malabaricus
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Karnala Bird Sanctuary, Dist. Raigad, Maharashtra, India, 3 October 2013

Sometimes placed in genus Kittacincla.


Subspecies C. m. macrourus (formerly C. m. indicus)
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Dudhwa National Park, Himalayan Terai, India, 29 January 2015

14 subspecies accepted[1]:

  • C. m. malabaricus: Southern peninsula India
  • C. m. leggei: Sri Lanka
  • C. m. macrourus: Nepal to northeastern India, southwestern China and Hainan Island), Myanmar, Thailand, Indochina (including Con Son Island, southern Vietnam), and the northern Thai-Malay Peninsula; the species also is introduced on Taiwan (subspecies not confirmed, possibly macrourus) and the Hawaiian Islands (probably macrourus)
  • C. m. tricolor: Southern Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Riau and Lingga Archipelagos, Bangka and Belitung islands, Anambas Islands, Natuna Islands, and western Java
  • C. m. javanus: Central Java
  • C. m. omissus: Eastern Java
  • C. m. suavis: Borneo (except northern part)
  • C. m. nigricauda: Kangean Islands and Matasiri Island (Java Sea)
  • C. m. hypolizus: Simeulue Island, west coast of Sumatra
  • C. m. opisthochrus: Lasia and Babi Islands, west coast of Sumatra; possibly extinct in the wild
  • C. m. melanurus: Nias Island and Mentawai Islands, west coast of Sumatra
  • C. m. mirabilis: Prinsen Island (Sunda Strait); possibly extinct
  • C. m. stricklandii: Lowlands of northern Borneo, Labuan, Balembangan and Banggi islands
  • C. m. barbouri: Maratua Islands (off northern Borneo)

Former subspecies C. m. indicus and C. m. interposita now merged with C. m. macrourus

Stricklandi (together with barbouri) from Borneo is sometimes considered a full species, White-crowned Shama. Andaman Shama was formerly included in this species.


Valley forests and lowland broadleaf forests.



The nest is built of roots, leaves and other vegetative material which is placed near the ground. The eggs are white to light bluey-green, with brown blotches. Incubate takes between 12 and 15 days.


Subspecies stricklandi (White-crowned Shama)
Photo © by Joe Pan
Kinabatangan District, Sabah, Malaysia, 19 May 2006

The diet includes grasshoppers, termites, caterpillars, grubs, and fruit. The young are fed earthworms and insects.


The song one of the finest of any bird within its range, a variable series of powerful rich fluty melodious notes. Often includes imitations of other birds including the Melodious Laughing-thrush Listen in a White-rumped Shama sound clip
Recording by wavethree
Pulau Ubin, Singapore




  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Wikipedia contributors. (2020, January 21). White-rumped shama. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:39, February 4, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=White-rumped_shama&oldid=936833552
  3. Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). White-rumped Shama (Kittacincla malabarica). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/58486 on 4 February 2020).
  4. Pratt, H.D., Bruner, P., and Berrett, D.G. (1987) A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific. Princeton University Press.
  5. Pyle, R.L., and P. Pyle. 2017. The Birds of the Hawaiian Islands: Occurrence, History, Distribution, and Status. B.P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI, U.S.A. Version 2 (1 January 2017) http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/birds/rlp-monograph/
  6. Roberts , G. E., T. D. Male, and C. Sheila (1998). White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (A. F. Poole and F. B. Gill, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bna.378

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.