Siberian Rubythroat

Siberian Rubythroat  Luscinia calliope


  • Luscinia : Latin word for “ Nightingale”
  • Calliope : Fine-voiced chief of the Muses, who presided over eloquence and heroic poetry

Vernacular Names: Ben: Gunpigora, Nepal: Gangula, Mar: Manikkanth

Distribution in India: Winters visitor in Himalayas, peninsular and North east India

Description: Size of 13-14 cm. Male breeding is warm olive-brown from crown to tail, with bold white supercilium and submoustachial stripe, black lores and malar line; metallic pale ruby-red chin and throat bordered below by narrow blackish line linking malars; ashy-grey neck side and breast shading whitish on belly and buffy on flanks; bill blackish, legs greyish-flesh. Non-breeding male has breast more solidly grey, bill all black. Female is like male but facial pattern less distinct, chin whitish, shading to yellow-tinged buff on throat and breast.

Habitat: It is found during breeding in lowland taiga and subalpine shrubbery, clearings in forest by meadows and rivers, windfall gaps, regenerating burns with tall grass and bushes, above tree-line, overgrown forest edges and tangled thickets near mountain streams; especially in areas with fallen trees, dense bushes. In winter, found in dense thickets and scrub , abandoned cultivation, bamboo brakes, dense roadside vegetation, hedges near villages, regrowth on old fields, long grass, reeds, tea gardens, town gardens, and field margins, often near streams or standing water; also found up to 1500 m in Himalayas

Food Habits: It eats Insects, including flies and their larvae, ants, wasps and beetles; also plant material. Forages mainly on ground, taking items from hard surfaces; also gleans from lowest parts of reeds, grass clumps and bushes. In winter quarters, noted often to be most active in twilight.

Breeding Habits: They breed in April- Aug in Russia, East Asia. Nest a loose cup or dome made of fine grasses and roots, usually lightly lined with hair and plant down, placed on ground in shelter of bush or dense tuft of herbage. It lays 3–5 eggs in a clutch. Incubation done by female. Chicks are fed by both male & female in the nesting stage.