Bluethroat (nominate)

Bluethroat  Luscinia svecica

Etymology :

  • Luscinia : Latin word for Nightingale
  • Svecica : Suecicus – Swedish, because the colours on Male Bluethroat resemble the Swedish flag

Vernacular Names : Sind: Dumbak, Hindi: Nil kanthi, Husaini pidda, Kash: Nyul hot, Pun: Nil kanthi piddi, Ben: Gunpigera, Gurpeorah, Guj: Neelkanthi, Mar: Shankar

Distribution in India: Summer visitor in Upper Himalayas and migrates down to valleys in winter.

Description: Size of 15-16 cm. The only redstart with inverted-T pattern on tail. Breeding male has blue head, back, wings and throat; rest of underparts, rump and relatively long tail rufous-orange, tail with black central feathers and distal third; bill and legs black. Non-breeding male is heavily scaled buff above. Female is dull greyish-brown, tail as male.

Habitat: It is found in dwarf juniper, rhododendron, birch scrub and open grassy areas. Winters in understorey of open forest, bushy river valleys , gorges, and in open terrain with bushes, cultivated clearings, tea gardens, terraces, pastures, scrub, thickets, etc., at 1000–2700 m

Food Habits: It eats Insects, berries, seeds. Insects predominate May–Sept, but from Aug berries and seeds also taken; in winter exclusively vegetable material, Caterpillars fed to nestlings. Forages by making short flights from perch; also occasionally hawks flying insects

Breeding Habits: They breed in May-Aug. Nest a cup of dry moss bedded on coarse grass, lined with hair, feathers or thin roots, placed in tree hole, stump, wall crevice, end of fallen tree, crack in rock face, among rocks or under dense vegetation. Lays a clutch of 3–6 eggs. Incubation period is 12 days; nestling period 12–17 days, but young often flightless for several days after leaving nest; post-fledging dependence as short as 12 days. Parasitized by Common Cuckoo.