Black-chinned Yuhina

Black-chinned Yuhina  Yuhina nigrimenta


  • Yuhina : Named after “Yuhinof the Nipalese”
  • Nigrimenta : Latin word niger- black; mentalis – chin

Distribution in India:Resident of Himalayas and North Eastern hillsin India.

Description: Size of 9–10 cm; Wt. of 8–14 g. It is the smallest Yuhina. It is dull greenish grey-brown above and buffy below, with blackish face and crest on dull grey head, narrow red bill.  It has mid-grey crown, slightly brown-tinged, with broad blackish centres, feathers are slightly elongate forming low crest; upperparts, upperwing and tail are drab greenish grey-brown, washed greyer on mantle and warmer on rump. The  lores to above eye, upper submoustachial area and chin are black, ear-coverts and supercilium are plain grey like nape, throat is white with slight buffy tinge; underparts are dirty buff, richer on lower flanks and vent, with breast side, upper flanks and thighs washed mid-brown. The iris is hazel or brown to dark crimson; upper mandible is horn-brown to black with reddish base, lower mandible are orange-red, coral-red or vermilion; legs are yellowish-brown or orange-flesh. Both the sexes are similar. The juvenile has upperparts and edges of wing and tail browner, crest is shorter.

Habitat: It is found in broadleaf evergreen forest, second growth, and overgrown clearings. It is found from 100 m up to 2000 m in India.

Food habits: It eats insects and their larvae, berries, seeds, rice and flower nectar. It ingests some grit, including quartz to help digesting hard seeds. It is found in small parties and often in association with mixed flocks. It forages in canopy and low bushes, sometimes in undergrowth or in tall grass under trees.

Breeding habits: They breed in Mar–Jul in Indian Subcontinent, May–Jul in Myanmar, Apr–Jun in China, and Jan–Feb in Laos. The nest is constructed over at least 3 days. The nest is a beautiful compact cradle or basket made of moss and moss roots or other fibrous material, lined with very fine grass stems, rootlets and fiberslike coir/ The nest is either suspended from moss or lichen hanging from underside of branch above ground, or fastened to exposed hanging roots on bank or attached to eaves of bamboo-thatched shed or coir-wrapped base of palm branch or even tea plant. They lay a clutch of 3–6 eggs. The incubation is done by both sexes. The incubation period is 12–13 days. The nestling period is13–15 days.