Ruticilla rufiventris

Ruticilla rufiventris, Vieill.

497. Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 137 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 478 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Voh IX, p. 405 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 146 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885.


Length, 6 ; expanse, 10 ; wing, 3.5; tail, 2.55 ; tarsus, 1; bill from gape, 0.6 ; bill at front, 0.4.

Bill black; irides brown ; legs black.

Crown dark ashy-grey; lores, ear-coverts, neck, throat, breast, back and upper wing-coverts, black with greyish edges to the feathers ; wings dusky-brown ; the primaries margined with pale rufous, the secondaries with dull grey, forming an inconspicuous patch; under wing-coverts, flanks, belly, rump, upper and lower tail-coverts and tail (except half the inner and a little of the outer webs of the two middle tail feathers near the tip, which are brown), bright cinnamon-rufous.

The female is brown above, with the edges of the wings, the abdomen, and under tail-coverts, pale rufous; below, dusky on the throat and breast, changing to clear light rufous on the abdomen and under tail-coverts ; rump and tail as in the male.

Mr. Hume, Stray Feathers, Vol. V, p. 36, describes six tolerably distinct stages of plumage, viz: :-

I. Winter plumage. :- Black of upper surface entirely veiled by ashy, rufous-ashy, or brownish-rufous, tips to the feathers. Black of breast more or less ditto.

II. Early spring stage. :- Tippings of the feathers disappearing first from the breast, next from back, and lastly from the head.

III. Ante-nuptial stage. :- Whole head, neck, breast and upper breast pure black.

IV. Nuptial stage. :- Black duller; a greyish-white band across the forehead (dividing off the black of the base of the forehead as a black frontal band), with a grey shade extending backwards on to the crown.

V. Early autumn stage. :- Broad conspicuous black frontal band; throat, breast, sides of neck, pure black.

Front of head pale blue-grey, growing duller on occiput. Back more or less veiled with grey or rufous-ash tippings.

VI. Late autumn stage. :- Frontal band not showing out conspicuously ; crown and back unicolorous.

Black of breast, &c, more or less veiled with grey or rufous-ashy tippings.

The Indian Redstart is a very common winter visitant to all parts of the district, appearing about the end of September, and leaving towards the end of March, or commencement of April.

Handbook to the Birds of the Bombay Presidency
Barnes, Henry Edwin. Handbook to the birds of the Bombay Presidency, 1885.
Title in Book: 
Ruticilla rufiventris
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Barnes, H. Edwin
Page No: 
Common name: 
Indian Redstart
Phoenicurus ochruros rufiventris

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