Blue-capped Redstart   Phoenicurus coeruleocephala


  •  Phoenicurus : Greek word  phoinix –crimson, red, purple;   ouros -tailed
  • Coeruleocephala: Latin word caeruleus dark blue; Greek word  kephalos -headed

Distribution : Resident of Himalayas

 Description : It has a size of  15 cm; wt. of 13–17 g. The male has a greyish-blue crown to nape, shading to black upperparts, with bold white band from shoulder to tertials. The face and upper breast are black, sharply demarcated from white lower underparts. The bill and legs are black. The female is dull greyish-brown above, slightly paler below becoming whitish towards vent. It has two narrow whitish wingbars, chestnut rump, blackish tail. The juvenile is like female, but darker brown with buff scaling, whitish-edged tertials.

Habitat: It is found in dry forests with little undergrowth, like pine-cypress areas, upper edge of deodar forest, fir with birch and juniper, thickets and scrub on rocky hillsides. It is found from 2400–3900 m in Himalayas.

Food habits:  It eats Insects in summer; occasionally berries and seeds. It feeds in typical redstart sally-to-ground manoeuvre, occasionally also in aerial sally after flying prey. It forages in canopy and on ground. It shakes tail, rather than shivering it.

Breeding habits: They breed  in May–Jul ; occasionally double-brooded. The nest is a bulky broad-based shallow cup of coarse grass, bark, dry leaves and moss, lined with feathers and wool, placed on or near ground in rock fissure, among roots, in hollow under rotten log, in bank or in thick bush. They lay a clutch of 2-4 eggs.