549. Ianthia cyanura rufilata

(549) Ianthia cyanura rufilata.

The Red-Flanked Bush-Robin.

Nemura rufilatus Hodgs., P. Z. S., 1845, p. 27 (Nepal). Ianthia rufilata. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 106.

Vernacular names. Mangzhil-pho (Lepch.).

Description.— Adult male. Lores, a line next the bill and round the eye black; forehead, a short broad supercilium, rump, upper tail-coverts and lower wing-coverts bright ultramarine-blue; upper plumage, sides of head, neck and breast deep purplish blue, almost black on breast and meeting across throat; wings like the hack; tail-feathers brown edged with deep blue; centre of chin, throat and upper breast white ; lower breast and abdomen ashy-white, purer on centre of abdomen, vent and under tail-coverts ; flanks orange-chestnut; under wing-coverts and axillaries white.

Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill black; legs and feet dark brown.

Measurements. Total length about 155 mm.; wing 79 to 86 mm.; tail 57 to 61 mm.; tarsus about 25 mm.; culmen 10 to 11 mm.

Female. Upper plumage rufous olive-brown ; the wing-feathers edged with rufous; lores and a faint ring round the eye paler and there are also faint traces of a bluish supercilium; rump dull greenish blue; tail dark brown, the feathers edged with blue; chin and throat white ; sides of head and neck, breast and flanks olive-brown, changing to albescent on centre of abdomen, vent and under tail-coverts ; centre of flanks orange-chestnut.

Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill dark brown, lighter at the base; legs pale brown to dark brown.

The nestling is brown above, each feather tipped with black and with a pale central streak; below white, more or less suffused with fulvous and the feathers margined with black.

Distribution. Nepal, Sikkim, the Hills North and South of the Brahmaputra, Chin and Kachin Hills, Shan States, N. Siam and Yunnan,

Nidification. The nest and eggs of this bird have apparently never been taken, but they are not likely to differ from those of the better-known race from the North-West of India. It is known to breed about Darjiling at 8,000 to 10,000 feet, and probably breeds throughout its range from the middle of May to the end of June up to some 14,000 feet. It does not, I think, ever breed in the hills South of the Brahmaputra, though it is a common winter visitor to them.

Habits. The Bed-flanked Bush-Robin is found in Summer between 7,000 and 16,000 feet, and in winter down to 5,000, but not often below this. The birds of this genus are forest-birds, haunting both pine and evergreen forests, providing they have sufficient undergrowth and they are especially fond of open spaces surrounded by cover. Here they flit about from ground to bush and from bush to ground very like the common Robin on the continent of Europe. They are not shy birds and will hunt about in front of one for insects provided no noise or abrupt movement is made. Whitehead syllabifies the call-note as "prot" and answer as " tee,' both notes being used by either sex.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.2 1924.
Title in Book: 
549. Ianthia cyanura rufilata
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Red Flanked Bush Robin
Himalayan Bluetail
Tarsiger rufilatus
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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