White-capped Redstart

White-capped Redstart    Chaimarrornis  leucocephalus


  • Chaimarrornis : Greek word kheimarrhos- torrent; ornis – bird.
  • Leucocephalus: Greek word leukos- white; kephalos–headed   { white headed}

Distribution in India: Resident in Himalayas and North East India

Description: Size of 15-17 cm; wt. of 24-42 gms. It has a white cap, black rest of head to back and wings and down to breast; otherwise orange-chestnut, with black terminal tail-bar; black bill and legs. Both the sexes are similar.The juvenile is like adult but white cap scaled black, more grey-black above and extending below to lower belly, with paler buff-grey tips on lower breast to mid-belly and orange-grey vent.

Habitat:It is found in rapid mountain streams, frequenting boulders among rushing water but visiting wet mossy cliffs and steep marshy hillsides; 2400–4200 m, in Himalayas. It winters by clear shingly rivers and canals from lowlands to foothills. In higher areas may nest in rocky alpine meadows

Food Habits: It eats Insects, those that are found in and around water bodies; also plant material like berries and grass seeds. Takes food from surface of water or in erratic flycatching sallies, also in dashes among rocks and by wading in shallow water. Occasionally forages for short periods away from water on rock-strewn ground and cliffs

Breeding Habits:They breed in May- Aug. Usually two broods per season.Nest a bulky, deep cup of grass, moss and rootlets, strengthened with mud, lined thickly with rootlets, ferns and/or animal hair, placed deep in rock cleft or hole in tree or under overhanging bank, often in half-hollow end of broken trunk or log in riverbed, sometimes under stone or tree roots. They lay a clutch of 3–5 eggs. Young  are fed for 5–6 days after fledging.