White-browed Fantail   Rhipidura aureola               


  • Rhipidura : Greek word  rhipis-fan;  ouros –tailed  { Fan tailed}
  • Aureola : Latin word aurum – gold, Golden, Brilliant

Vernacular Names: Hindi: Machharya, Nachan, Chakdil, Urdu: Shamchiri, Pun: Nacha, Ass: Nachoni sorai, Cachar: Dao-phari, Guj: Nachan/Nachana, Moti nayan, Pankho, Ta: Visiri-vali, Vali-marittan, Te: Darari/Dasari pitta, Mal: Attakkaran, Sinh: Endera-kurulla, Marawa, Natana-kurulla, Mar: Pandharya Bhuvai chi nachan

Sub Species :

  1. Nominate – Himalayan foothills to Nepal,  Central  India ( Maharashtra and Odisha)
  2. a. compressirostris – South peninsular India {less white in tail}

 Distribution in India:

  1. Nominate – Himalayan foothills to Nepal,  Central  India ( Maharashtra and Odisha)
  2. a. compressirostris – South peninsular India

Description:  Size of 17-18 cm; Wt. of 10-12 g. The nominate male has forehead and broad supercilium white, crown and ear-coverts black; upperparts, including wing, dark grey-brown, greater and median wing-coverts tipped with white spots (double wingbar); tail blackish, central rectrices unmarked, others with white tips, amount of white increasing outwards, chin and throat side whitish, throat to upper breast variably black, breast and belly white; iris dark brown; bill black; legs brownish-black. Female is slightly paler and browner on head. The immature is like adult, but upperparts and wing-coverts are tipped rufous. The nominate race is found all over India except South Peninsular India; the race compressirostris ( South Peninsular India) differs from nominate in having less white in tail ,two pairs of central rectrices are without white tips and narrower bill.

Habitat: It is found in woodland in drier, more open habitats, including dry forest, mixed deciduous forest, secondary scrub, orchards, trees bordering canals, savanna; also gardens, even in cities. Found in Plains and foothills up to 1500 m.

Food Habits: It eats small insects. It flushes prey by restlessly twisting and turning along branches and tree trunks, flicking wings open and fanning tail. Most prey caught in air by short sallies. It also follows or perches on cattle and buffaloes, capturing insects flushed by their movement. It joins mixed-species feeding flocks, mainly in non-breeding season; with Sylviid warblers and Nuthatches

Breeding Habits: Breeds in Feb- Sept in India.  The nest is built by both sexes, taking 3–5 days. The nest is a neat cup of fine rootlets and grasses covered externally with spider web, lined with grass fibers, usually lacking “tail”, attached to upper surface of thin branch or in small horizontal fork, site commonly reused for several years. It lays a clutch of 2–4 eggs. The incubation is done by both sexes for 14–15 days. The chicks fed by both parents. The fledging period is 10 to 16 days. The young fed in vicinity of nest for at least 14 days after fledging.