Friday, 10 December 2010

Red-flanked bluetail

Tarsiger cyanurus

Photo by Jari Peltomäki (Luonto Portti)

Common name:
red-flanked bluetail (en); rouxinol-rabiazul (pt); rossignol à flanc roux (fr); coliazul de cejas blancas (es); blauschwanz (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

These migratory bird breed in northern Asia and north-east Europe, from Finland in the east, across Siberia, and all the way to Kamchatka and Japan. They mostly winter in south-east Asia, in southern China, Taiwan and northern Indochina.

This small passerine is 13-14 cm long and has a wingspan of 22 cm. They weigh 10-18 g.

They breed in mixed coniferous forests with undergrowth. During the winter they also use forested habitats, namely tropical and sub-tropical lowland moist forests, and tropical and sub-tropical mountain moist forests.

The red-flanked bluetail is insectivorous, feeding on a variety of insects. During the winter they may also eat berries and seeds.

They breed in June-August. The nest is built on or near the ground, often in a hollow among tree roots or in a stump or fallen log. The nest cup consists of moss, grass, and roots, lined with softer grass, wool, hair, and sometimes pine needles. The female lays 3-7 eggs which she incubates alone for 12-15 days. The chicks fledge after about 2 weeks.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
The population is suspected to be stable as there is no evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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