White-throated Fantail

White-throated Fantail
White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis, Baihualing (25.305810, 98.796040), Gaoligong Mountains, Yunnan, China, elev. 1690 m (5,550 ft.), February. (Craig Brelsford)

White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis has vast range, from Pakistan to Greater Sundas, and is most widely distributed fantail in China, with celsa resident southeast Tibet, southern Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangxi, and Hainan. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Wide range of woodland habitats, from forests to cultivated land and urban parks, in winter to sea level, in summer to 3000 m (9,840 ft.). Makes constant nervous movements, fans and cocks tail, and occasionally makes aerial sallies for insects, which make up bulk of diet. ID & COMPARISON Upperparts and underparts dark grey, showing black in poor light; supercilium and throat white. White-browed Fantail R. aureola has broader supercilium and white forehead and is mainly white below. Eye mask black. Fan-shaped, blackish tail tipped white, gradually darkening. Juvenile browner with scales and fainter white supercilium and throat. BARE PARTS Tiny bill black; feet black. VOICE Song a series of clear, bright whistles, sometimes evenly spaced and descending (but variable). Short, harsh squeaks in alarm. — Craig Brelsford


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.

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