Streaked fantail

Rhipidura spilodera

TAXONOMY

Rhipidura spilodera G.R. Gray, 1870, Vanua Lava, New Hebrides. Five subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Rhipidure tacheté; German: Fleckenfächerschwanz; Spanish: Cola de Abanico Moteado.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm); female 0.3-0.35 oz (9.2-10.2 g), male 0.4 oz (11-12 g). Olive-brown upperparts with gray-brown tail feathers and two white wing bars. White brow stripe and throat, with scaly brown pattern on white breast. Abdomen is whitish buff.

DISTRIBUTION

R. s. verreauxi: New Caledonia and Loyalty Islands; R. s. spilodera: Central and northern Vanuatu; R. s. layardi: western Fiji; R. s. erythronota: northern Fiji; R. s. rufilateralis: northeastern Fiji.

HABITAT

True forest and forest edge, occasionally secondary growth and gardens. Occurs up to 3,960 ft (1,200 m).

BEHAVIOR

An active, restless, bold, and inquisitive bird. It frequents lower levels in the forest. The song is a pleasant series of 4-5 notes.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

This fantail is an active feeder in the understory, capturing insects by gleaning and hawking. It frequently joins mixed-species feeding flocks.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The breeding season on New Caledonia and Vanuatu is Oct.-Jan. Two spotted eggs are laid in the small cup nest, which is situated in the lower strata, 6.6-10 ft (2-3 m) from the ground. Both parents share the nesting duties.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Common.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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