Grey-hooded Fulvetta Fulvetta cinereiceps was formerly considered conspecific with Manipur Fulvetta F. manipurensis and Taiwan Fulvetta F. formosana. Species as currently described is endemic to China, with fessa resident in southern Ningxia, Gansu, Shaanxi, and northern Sichuan; cinereiceps from central Sichuan east to western Guizhou; fucata in western Hubei and parts of Guizhou, Guangxi, and Hunan; and guttaticollis in Fujian and Guangdong. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Forages actively in undergrowth in mountainous broadleaf and coniferous forests and bamboo thickets, in summer to 3400 m (11,160 ft.), in winter to 1100 m (3,610 ft.). Feeds primarily on insects, but also takes seeds. Usually in small flocks. ID & COMPARISON Grey hood on large head extends to throat and breast. Mantle, rump, belly, vent, and wings mostly rufous-brown, with white edging to black primaries; longish tail brown. Crown and mantle brown in guttaticollis. Lateral crown stripe and streaking on throat faint or missing. Manipur Fulvetta has distinct lateral crown stripe. Spectacled Fulvetta F. ruficapilla has dark irides and contrasting rufous-brown crown. Sooty Bushtit has distinct, dark breast band and dark-brown crown. BARE PARTS Irides pale; bill black; feet pinkish-brown. VOICE Grating, busy chattering and clearly enunciated whistles.
Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.