Chestnut-headed Tesia         Oligura castaneocoronata

Etymology :

  • Oligura : Greek word oligos – short, small; oura – tail
  • Castaneocoronata : Latin word castaneus- chestnut-coloured; coronatus- crowned

Vernacular Names : Lepcha: Samtit-pho, Nepal: Tisi

Distribution in India:  Resident of Himalayas and North Eastern Hills of India

 Description: Size of 8–9·5 cm; wt. of 8–10 g. It is a small, upright and almost tailless ground-loving warbler with dark upperparts and bright yellow underparts. The nominate race has chestnut head, prominent white postocular crescent. The upperparts  are dark olive-green; chin, throat and underparts are bright yellow, except for greener breast side and flanks. The iris is dark; bill is brown, lower mandible has paler base; legs are olive-brown. Both the sexes are alike. The juvenile lacks chestnut on head, has upperparts duller olive-green with brownish tinge, dull rufous-buff underparts with yellowish-buff on throat and belly.

 Habitat: It is found in undergrowth of broadleaf forest and mixed broadleaf and conifer forest, bamboos, dense and moist areas of ferns, nettles and thorn-scrub, found along streams and damp areas in valleys and ravines. It breeds from1600m to4000 m. In non-breeding season, occurs more frequently in scrub and secondary woodland, between 245 m and 1830 m

 Food Habits: It eats spiders and other invertebrates and their larvae. It is  alone or in pairs. It actively forages on the ground , among dense vegetation; extremely difficult to see, but is inquisitive and may respond to imitated calls. When excited or alarmed, bobs up and down in manner of a Troglodytes wren. Rarely flies

Breeding habits:  They breed in Apr–Jul. The male displays in upper bush to female lower in same bush, holds wings drooped, bill pointing upwards, throat feathers puffed out and tail cocked vertically upwards, while calling continually. The nest consists mostly of moss, fine plant fibres and feathers, suspended from short branch of tree. They lay a clutch of 2 eggs. Incubation is done by both sexes.