Long-tailed Broadbill  Psarisomus dalhousiae


  • Psarisomus : psar -starling; Soma –Body { Starling like body}
  • Dalhousiae: named after Christina Broun, Countess of Dalhousie (1786–1839), wife of George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie

Vernacular Names: Lepcha: Dang-mo-mith, Dang-mit-pho, Cachar: Dao hangari raja, Nepal: Rai-I, Hindi: Lambi Dum ka Rai-i

Distribution in India: Resident in foot hills of Himalayas and North East India.

Description: Size of 23–26 cm, wt. of 64–67 g,. It is a distinctive slim, very long-tailed, colorful broadbill. The adult of both sexes has black cap with blue crown patch, yellow spot on nape side, bright yellow face, throat and almost complete collar, usually small blue nuchal patch; has little or no white in collar. The upperparts are green; flight-feathers are black, basal two-thirds bright blue; long, graduated tail is blue, undertail is black; paler green below, often tinged blue, underparts are mostly turquoise; blue underwing with prominent white patch on flight-feathers. The iris is green to grey-brown, sometimes partly pink; bill is greenish, with bluish base; legs and feet are light green to greenish-yellow. The juvenile has green crown, pale yellow on lores and behind ear-coverts, greenish-yellow chin and throat.

Habitat: It is found in large variety of forest habitats occupied over its wide range, including primary and secondary tropical evergreen, semi-evergreen and subtropical broadleaf forest, mixed deciduous forest including areas adjoining pine forest, and bamboo-dominated areas. It is found from 600-2000 m.
Food Habits: They mainly eat insects and other small invertebrates that they hawk from tall tree perches. They keep returning to the perches once they have caught the prey. Most hunting is done in the early morning and evening twilight. They conspicuously perch on high, bare branches of trees from where they make broad sweeps and glides after prey or dive and swoop in display.

Breeding Habits: They breed during Mar–Aug in Indian Subcontinent; from Apr in Myanmar, Feb–Sept in Thailand and Mar–Jul in Indochina; Feb–May in Peninsular Malaysia, Feb–Aug on Sumatra and from Mar on Borneo. The nest is bulky pear-shaped nest with long “tail”, built by both sexes, sometimes with helpers, within 3 weeks. The nest is made up of material including creeper stems and tendrils, fine roots, dead leaves, palm fiber, fern fronds and stems, twigs, liverworts and mosses, sometimes adorned with green moss and spider egg cases. It has a side entrance usually with small “roof”, interior chamber lined with grass blades or roots and bamboo leaves overlaid with green leaves, latter sometimes replaced during incubation. The nest is usually suspended from tip of branch or creeper. They lay a clutch of 4–8 eggs. Both adults participate in incubation and in feeding of young, sometimes with helpers. The Incubation period is 14 days. The young fledge and leave the nest after about 8 weeks.