Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Kashmir flycatcher

Ficedula subrubra

Photo by Juhasz Tibor (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Kashmir flycatcher (en); papa-moscas-de-Caxemira (pt); gobemouche du Cachemire (fr); papamoscas de Cachemira (es); Kaschmir-fliegenschnäpper (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

This species breeds in the Kashmir region, in the north-western Himalayas, particularly in the Neelum Valley and Kaz-i-nag range in Pakistan, and in the Pir Panjal range in India. They migrate south to winter mainly in Sri Lanka and also in the southern Western Ghats, in southern India.

These birds are 13 cm long and weigh 9-12 g.

The Kashmir flycatcher breeds in mixed deciduous forests with dense understorey, particularly hazel Corylus, walnut Albizia, cherry Prunus, willow Salix and Perrottetia, at altitudes of 1.800-2.700 m. Outside the breeding season they also use moist tropical forests, plantations and rural gardens.

They feed mainly on flying insects, taken by sallying out from a low perch, but also hunt prey on the ground.

Kashmir flycatchers breed in May-July and are presumed to be monogamous. They nest in an untidy cup made of dried leaves, grasses and moss, and lined with hairs, bark shavings and feathers. Nests are placed in natural tree hollows or old woodpecker nests, mainly in Perrottetia or willow trees, and usually 2-12 m above the ground. The female lays 3-5 eggs which she incubates alone, but there is no information regarding the length of the incubation and fledging periods.

IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
The Kashmir flycatcher has a relatively small breeding range and the global population is estimated at 1.500-7.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate as a result of habitat degradation and loss in both the wintering and breeding grounds due to commercial timber extraction, conversion of land for agriculture, livestock-grazing which substantially alters forest understorey structure and composition, and tree-lopping for animal fodder, fuel wood and construction materials.

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