Robin Accentor Prunella rubeculoides
- Prunella : Braunelle – German for brown
- Rubeculoides : Latin word rubecula – redbreast , robin ; Greek word oides- resembling
Vernacular Names: Lepcha: Phoo-ching-pho
Accentors are birds found at high Altitudes. The word Accentor means “Sing together”.
Distribution in India: They are found at heights of 11000-13000 Ft above mean sea Level. They are Residents of Northern Himalayas. (South/ North Pulu in Ladhak area is good spot for seeing them). In winters they can come down to villages and human settlements in search of food and shelter.
Description: Size of 16-17 Cm ; wt. of 23g. It has a grey head and throat, brown upper parts with dark streaking on mantle and back. The wings and tail are greyish-brown, has two pale wingbars; breast and breast side are rufous, belly and vent are cream-coloured, rufous-brown streaks on lower flanks; iris is reddish-brown; bill is dark grey to blackish; legs are dull red-brown. Both the sexes are alike. The juvenile has dark streaks on head and neck, buff breast with dark streaks, diffusely streaked flanks.
Habitat: It breeds in damp, boggy areas of scrub, particularly willow and tussock grasses, often adjacent to lakes and streams in valley bottoms. It is found in breeding time at 3500–5500 m. In winter, it is found rom 2500m to 5000 m .It has a preference for bare, stony and rocky habitats in winter, frequently found near human habitation.
Food Habits: It is predominantly a grainivore feeding on Seeds and grains and sometimes on Grass shoots. They also eat Small worms to supplement their protein intake. This happens espl. in the breeding season. This gives the incubating parents energy and chicks with protein to grow fast. Also provides the chicks with water content that is absent in Grains and seeds
Breeding Habits: They breed in the summer months. The female lays 3-5 eggs in a Simple nest on the ground sheltered by dwarf shrubs and sedge clumps. The Female does the incubation while male is on guard duty. The chicks are born with open eyes and down feathers (Precocial). They leave the nest in about 10 days from hatching but are seen to be fed by parents even when they leave the nest.