87. Ruticilla cAerulocephala

Ruticilla coerulocephala (Vigors), F.Z.S. 1830, p. 35 ; (Gould) Cent. B. Himal. M. pl. xxv., fig. 2 ; Hume and Henderson, Lahore to Yark., p. 211, pl. xiv. ; Seebohm, Cat. B. Br. Mus. v., p. 353 ; (Oates) F. Brit. Ind. Birds, ii., p. 108.
Male ad. (Himalayas). Crown and nape pale blue ; frontal line, chin, throat, sides of head, breast, back, scapulars, lower rump, upper tail- coverts, and tail deep black ; wings black, the median and inner greater coverts and broad margins of the inner secondaries white ; underparts below the breast white ; under wing-coverts and axillaries black tipped, with white ; bill and legs black ; iris brown. Culmen 0.52, wing 3.2, tail 2.6, tarsus 0.82 inch. The female has the upper parts rich brown ; rump and upper tail-coverts rufous : tail brown, narrowly margined with ferruginous ; wings brown, the coverts and inner secondaries margined and tipped with fulvous white ; under parts ashy brown with a fulvous tinge, the centre of the abdomen nearly white ; a pale ring round the eye. In the winter the crown, nape, and the black portions of the plumage have the feathers margined with brown. The young male has in all plumages the white margins on the wing, and the nestling is mottled all over.
Hab. The Himalayas from Afghanistan and Gilgit to Bhutan, and Turkestan. In the summer it inhabits the mountains from 10,000 feet upwards, descending to lower altitudes in the winter.
In habits it does not appear to differ from its allies and frequents wooded localities in the mountains. It breeds in May and June, its nest, which, according to Major Wardlaw Ramsay, is constructed of small twigs and grass, lined with hair, is placed in a crevice or hole in the face of a cliff, and its eggs, 5 in number, are dull cream coloured with a darker zone of the same colour round the thicker end, and measure about 0.84 by 0.62.
Several authors have separated this species from the true Redstarts, placing it in the genus Adelura Bp. on account of the absence of red in the tail.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 1. 1902.
Title in Book: 
87. Ruticilla cAerulocephala
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Blue Headed Redstart
Blue-capped Redstart
Phoenicurus coeruleocephala
Vol. 1

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