Rufous Sibia

Rufous Sibia  Malacias capistrata


  • Malacias : Greek word for Softness
  • Capistrata : Latin word for haltered derived from capistrum- halter

Vernacular Names:  Lepcha: Sambriak-pho, Nepal: Sibya, Bhutan: Sesigona 

Distribution inIndia: Resident of Himalayas

Description: Size of 22-23 Cm.Has black cap, Rufous nape and rufous underparts and black wings.  Sexes are similar.21–24 cm; 28–47 g.It is a slender buffy-rufous babbler with black head, blue-grey in wings and tail, slender decurved bill. The nominate race has crown and head side as black with slightly elongate feathers, forecrown has greyish tinge, clear-cutting to continuous buffy-rufous nuchal collar, neck side and underparts. It has shading to soft pale brown-tinged grey on lower mantle, back and scapulars, and to slightly richer rufous on rump and uppertail-coverts. thetailis broadly tipped grey, central feathers are pale dull rufous with broad blackish subterminal tips, outer feathers are mainly blackish; greater upperwing-coverts are blue-grey with white transverse band, primary coverts are black, flight-feathers have bluish-white and blue-grey fringes, tertials are dull rufous with blue-grey tips; iris is reddish-brown; bill is black; legs are brownish-flesh. Both the sexes are similar. The juvenile has crown and head sides as brownish-black, upperparts are bright rufous, paler rufous below, reduced and buff-tinged white on greater coverts. Race bayleyi( West Arunachal Pradesh) has all-black crown, brighter brownish-rufous underparts, more darker upperparts, more rufous-chestnut rump and warmer uppertail and brown iris.Found in broadleaf evergreen forest and mixed broadleaf-coniferous forest

Food Habits: It eat insects and berries. They also are found around rhododendron and silk-cotton tree flowers in search of insects and nectar

Breeding Habits: They breed in April–August. Nest, built by both sexes, a neat cup of green moss, dry grasses and dry leaves, firmly interwoven and lined with rootlets.The usual clutch is about 3-5 eggs. Female incubates the eggs and the chicks are born Precocial(withopen eyes and down feathers). Both parents do the duty of feeding the chicks. The chicks fledge within 3 weeks and leave the nest post fledging within 21days.