White-throated Fantail

White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis is distributed across a vast range from Pakistan to the Greater Sundas. It is the most widely distributed fantail in China, with celsa resident in southeastern Tibet, southern Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangxi, and Hainan. Lives in a wide range of woodland habitats, from forests to cultivated land and urban parks, from sea level in winter to 3000 m in summer. Diet and behavior typical of fantails, with constant nervous movements, fanning and cocking of tail, and occasional aerial sallies for insects, which make up the bulk of its diet. Upperparts and underparts dark grey, showing black in poor light; supercilium and throat white. (White-browed fantail has a broader supercilium and a white forehead and is mainly white below.) Eye mask black. Fan-shaped, blackish tail tipped white (but less so than in white-throated), gradually darkening (demarcated between white and black in white-throated). Juvenile browner with scales and fainter white supercilium and throat. Tiny bill black; feet black. 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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