Snowy-browed Flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra
- Ficedula : Latin word ficedula –small fig-eating bird
- Hyperythra : Greek word hupo- beneath; eruthros – red
Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas & North East India.
Description: Size of 11–13 cm. It is a small, short-tailed, round-headed and small-billed flycatcher. The male of nominate race has slate-blue head and upperparts, including upperwing and tail, blacker on lores, lower forehead, chin and side of throat, prominent short white stripe over upper lores to over eye (sometimes extending to centre of lower forehead). The edges of flight-feathers are warm brown or dull rufous-brown, white patch at side of tail base. The central throat to breast is deep orange to rufous-orange, flanks are dusky or buffish brown, rest of underparts are off-white. The iris is dark brown; bill is black; legs are dull purplish to pale grey or pinkish. The female has pale orange-buff or rusty-buff lower forehead and upper lores to around eye forming short supercilium and eyering, lores are slightly duller or dusky, cheeks and ear-coverts are mottled pale buff and brownish, upperparts are dark olive-brown, inner secondaries and primaries have dull rufous edges , tail is tinged lightly rufous and lacking white at side of base. It is variable below, pale buff chin and throat and orange on breast often forming band, or orange chin and throat more like that of male but less extensive, rest of underparts dull buffish; legs are pinkish. The juvenile is similar to female, but has orange-buff spots and streaks on head and upperparts, orange-buff tips to greater coverts forming wingbar and tips of tertials, pale buff chin and throat, underparts washed orange and spotted, scalloped or mottled brown and buffish; juvenile male has slate-bluish tail.
Habitat: It is found in breeding season in moist or mossy broadleaf forest, favouring damp areas, bamboo clumps and ravines. It breeds at 1900–3300 m in Himalayas. In non-breeding season it is found in similar habitat at lower levels It is found in non-breeding season in foothills and plains as low as 200 m.
Food habits: It eats small invertebrates and larvae, including dipteran flies, spiders, small earthworms, and some fruit like. berries. It is found in pairs in breeding season, otherwise usually solitary. It is quiet and unobtrusive, but often tame. It forages low down in clearings and forest edges, occasionally makes short aerial sallies after passing insects. It is often on ground among undergrowth and runs mouse-like over ground debris and fallen branches. It flicks tail and holds wings slightly drooped at sides of body. It also sits for long periods almost motionless on perch.
Breeding habits: They breed in Mar–Oct. The nest is built by both sexes. The nest is an untidy cup or oval with side entrance, made of moss, fine plant fibres and feathers, placed usually low down in hole in tree trunk, stump or on ground in bank, between boulders or among tree roots. They lay a clutch of 2–4 eggs. Both the sexes incubate eggs and feed chicks.