Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin

Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin  Cercotrichas galactotes

  • Cercotrichas : Greek word kerkos – tail; trikhas – Thrush
  • Galactotes : Greek word galaktos –milk; otes- resembling.

Vernacular Names :Baluchistan: Surkhdumak, Guj: Rakhodi peeth

Distribution in India: Passage migrant in North West India.

Description: Size of 15 cm; weight of 20–28 g. The nominate race is sandy-rufous from crown backwards, intensifying to foxy-rufous on tail, latter tipped black and white that is prominent during frequent tail movement. It has dusky wings; creamy-white supercilium bordering blackish eyestripe, creamy-white face and throat with short thin dark submoustachial, sandy-buff breast and flanks, whitish belly to vent. The bill is brownish at tip, paler basally; legs are pinkish-brown. Both the sexes are similar but male is larger. The juvenile is like adult but paler, with smaller black and white marks in tail.

Habitat: It is found in habitats such as olive and almond groves, vineyards, citrus and young pine plantations, parks, orchards, bushy vegetation along rivers, open dry woodland, scrub-covered slopes and gardens. It is found mostly lowlands but reaching 1500 m.

Food habits:  It eats Invertebrates, mainly insects like beetles, bugs, ants, bees, wasps, flies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, caterpillars, moths, small butterflies, mantises, earwigs, cicadas, ant-lion larvae, spiders, centipedes, millipedes and earthworms. It also eats fruit, berries and seeds. It forages mainly on ground, hopping strongly under vegetation or over half-open grassy substrates, and probing soil, flipping over leaves, and pecking among stones and herbage; also makes fluttering sallies off ground to snatch insects from herb clumps and flower heads.


Breeding habits:  They breed in May to Jun in South Europe and Kazakhstan and May–Aug in Armenia; Apr–Aug in Israel; May–Jun in Pakistan and Apr–Aug in Africa. The nest is a loose flat cup of dry grass stems, rootlets, twigs, bark and leaves, often shed snakeskin incorporated, lined with fine fibres, hair and feathers, placed in dense vegetation, often spiny, in reed clump, small tree, shrub or grapevine, or crevice in building. They lay a clutch of Eggs 3–6 eggs. The incubation period is 13–14 days. The nestling period is 10–13 days.