White-bellied redstart

White-bellied redstart
Hodgsonius phaenicuroides

Photo by Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok (Ayuwat)

Common name:
white-bellied redstart (en); rabirruivo-de-barriga-branca (pt); bradybate à queue rouge (fr); colirrojo ventriblanco (es); kurzflügel-rotschwanz (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

This species is found in the Himalayas and from central and southern China south to yanmar, northern Thailand, northern Laos and northern Vietnam. The population that breed at higher altitudes in the Himalayas migrate south to winter in north-eastern India.

These birds are 18-19 cm long and weigh 22-25 g.

The white-bellied redstart is mostly found in the transition between open scrublands and closed forests, using moist tropical forests, temperate forests, moist scrublands, high-altitude scrublands, dry grasslands and arable land. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 4.300 m.

They forage mainly on the ground, taking mostly insects but also some berries and other vegetable material.

White-bellied redstarts breed in May-September. The nest is a deep, bulky cup made of grass, dead leaves, roots and stems, lined with finer grass, hair and feathers. It is hidden in a dense scrub, up to 1,5 m above the ground. The female lays 2-4 dark blue-green eggs, which she incubates alone for 10-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 11-17 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as widespread and fairly common in the Himalayas and rare to uncommon in Myanmar, northern Laos and northern Vietnam. In China, which represents a large proportion of the white-bellied redstart breeding range, the population is estimated to be below 100.000 breeding pairs. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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