Plumbeous Water Redstart

Plumbeous water Redstart  Rhyacornis   fuliginosa


  • Rhyacornis :  Greek word rhuax – torrent; ornis – bird
  • Fuliginosa : Latin word for Sooty

Vernacular Name: Kash: Kola tiriv, Pun: Thirthara, Lepcha: Suradumparbo-pho, Bhutia: Chubbianukki

Distribution in India: Resident in Himalayas and North East India

Description: Size of 12-13 cm. The male is slaty-blue, with rufous-chestnut tail and vent, black bill, flesh-coloured legs. Female is slaty-grey above, with two white-spotted wing bars, white rump, black tail with white bases of outer tail feathers; whitish with dense grey barring below. The juvenile is like female but browner and stippled buff above.

Habitat: It is found in margins and boulders of clear rocky streams and rivers both inside and outside forest

Food Habits: It eats small insects and their larvae like beetles, caterpillars, moths, midges and ants, also earthworms. It makes short fly catching sallies from rocks or overhanging branches, snatches aquatic prey from surface of water, hunts on foot along water’s edge and occasionally wades in shallows in search of water-borne prey

Breeding Habits: They breed in April- Aug. Two broods per season.Nest a neat deep cup of fine roots, grasses, leaves and green moss, lined with rootlets, fibers, wool or hair, placed in hole in rock or bridge abutment, on fern-covered ledge, in side branch of tree, amid overhanging roots almost always near running water, occasionally up to 50 m away. Nest reused for subsequent broods. They lay 3–5 eggs in a clutch.The incubation is done by female. Chicks are fed by both male & female in the nesting stage.