Blue-capped Rock Thrush

Blue-capped Rock Thrush  Monticola  cinclorhynchus


  • Monticola : Latin word montis- mountain; cola – inhabitant
  • Cinclorhynchus: Latin word cinclusthrush ; Greek word rhunkhos –

Vernacular Names :Hindi: Nila sir kasturi, Sans: Neel-shirshgirikasturika,Kash: Pala tiriv, Pun: Nilisirikasturi, Nepal: Krishen-patti, Cachar: Daohangar, Mikir: Vohtigle, Naga: Hengmeruine, Guj: Bhuramathanokasturo, Nilasharirkasturo, Mar: Shailkastur, NilyaDokyachaKastur, Mal: Parakili

Distribution in India: Summer/ breeds in Himalayas and winter visitor in south India.

Description: Size of 15-17 cm. The male has bright mid-blue crown and throat is divided by black patch from lores through ear-coverts, black mantle and blue-fringed wings, with mid-blue lesser coverts and white bases of secondaries .The underparts are rusty-orange, continuing onto lower back and rump .The  tail is blue-tinged black. The non-breeding plumage is similar, but with brown fringes above, whitish fringes below. .The legs are dark in all plumages. The female is grey-brown above, whitish with heavy grey-brown scaling below, indistinct broad whitish mesial stripe on throat.

Habitat: It is breeds in open dry oak and pine forest, glades, open dry rocky grass-covered slopes with scattered trees, including heavily disturbed areas. It breeds from 900m up to 3000 m.  It winters in broken country and secondary jungle, light evergreen, moist-deciduous or bamboo forest in lowlands and low hills, favoring cardamom and coffee plantations and field edges. In winters found from 610m up to 2380 m.

Food habits It eats Insects, snails, worms, small lizards and frogs, berries, seeds. It forages by scanning from tree perch and dropping to ground. It also seeks food in trees and is largely arboreal, searching on trunks and branches. On ground, it turns over leaf litter with bill; occasionally sallies after flying insects. In winter, found sometimes in small flocks and will also join mixed-species foraging flocks.

Breeding habits: hey breed in Apr–Aug in foothills of Himalayas.The nest is a loose cup of moss, stems and leaves, decorated outside with flakes of bark, lined with fur, horsehair and/or pine needles, placed on or near ground, sometimes under exposed roots of tree, in hole in steep bank or rock crevice. They lay a clutch of 3–4 eggs.