Maroon-backed Accentor : Prunella immaculate


  • Prunella : Braunelle – German for brown
  • Immaculate: Latin word in– without; macula –spot  { Spotless}

Accentor are birds found at high Altitudes. The word Accentor means “Sing together”.

Distribution in India: Resident of Eastern Himalayas and winter visitor to Central Himalayas in India.

Description: It has a size of 14·5 cm; 20 g. Distinctive dark, unstreaked accentor. Has predominantly dark grey head and upper mantle, black lores, some white scalloping on grey feathers of forehead; olive-grey to rich brown back and rump, slaty brown tail; scapulars and wings chestnut, greater wing-coverts grey; grey below, dark cinnamon flanks, vent and undertail-coverts; iris pale yellow to whitish; bill blackish, base horn-coloured; legs pale greyish-brown to dull orange. Sexes alike. Juvenile resembles adult but lacks white on forehead, has olive back feathers tipped with black, paler throat spotted, buff breast streaked dark brown, belly and vent paler.


Habitat: It is found in humid coniferous and rhododendron (Rhododendron) forests, often near water; It breeds from c. 2900 m to 5000 m. In winter, also in secondary forest, forest margins and edges of clearings at lower altitudes. It is found from 1700–3700 m in NE Indian Subcontinent.


Food habits: It eats Invertebrates and seeds, also some berries. Forages on ground, usually under thick vegetation, seldom in open. Secretive.


Breeding habits: They breed in May–Jul. The nest is well hidden, placed low down in bush, sometimes on ground. They lay a clutch of 3–4 eggs.