White-capped water-redstart

White-capped water-redstart
Chaimarrornis leucocephalus

Photo by Yeshev Dorji (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
white-capped water-redstart (en); rabirruivo-de-coroa-branca (pt); torrentaire à calotte blanche (fr); colirrojo de capa blanca (es); weißkopfschmätzer (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

This species is found in central Asia, from eastern Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, through the Himalayas and into central and southern China, and northern Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

These birds are 19 cm long and weigh 24-42 g.

The white-capped water-redstart is found along rocky rivers, streams and waterfalls and in high altitude grasslands. They are only found in mountainous areas, at altitudes of 1.800-5.100 m.

They feed primarily on insects, namely Ephemeroptera, Diptera, Coleoptera and Hymenoptera, but also take spiders and molluscs and also berries and grass seeds during autumn and winter.

White-capped water-redstarts breed in May-August. The nest is a bulky cup made of grass, rootlets and moss, bound with mud and lined with rootlets, ferns and animal hair. The nest is placed in a hole, usually in a rock, tree, bank or wall, or under stones or tree roots. There the female lays 3-5 pale blue or blue-green eggs with darker markings, which she incubates alone. There is no information regarding the incubation and fledgling periods, but the young continue to be fed by adults for 5-6 days after fledging.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common to uncommon. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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