Goldenbreasted fulvetta

Alcippe chrysotis

SUBFAMILY

Timaliinae

TAXONOMY

Proparus chrysotis Blyth, 1845, Nepal. Five subspecies. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Golden-breasted tit babbler; French: Alcippe à poitrine dorée; German: Gold-Alcippe.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4.3 in (11 cm).The most brilliantly colored member of a large genus of mostly brown birds. Chest orange or yellow; head black, with gray throat and whitish cheeks and crown. Wings black with brilliant orange and yellow highlights. Tail black, edged with orange or yellow. Mantle grayish and rump yellow. Sexes similar. Shape typical of genus: rounded, like a titmouse or kinglet, with a short, sharp bill, and tail of moderate length.

DISTRIBUTION

Himalayas, east from Nepal, Assam, northeastern Myanmar, southwestern China, and northwestern Vietnam.

HABITAT

Highland evergreen forest and scrub.

BEHAVIOR

Member of perpetually moving "bird waves," mixed-species flocks sweeping from one feeding site to another, continuously vocalizing.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Typical mixed-species flock foliage gleaner, moving from plant to plant on a perpetual search for insects and spiders on bark, twigs, and under leaves. May also eat seeds and fruit.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Not known.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened, though parts of range subject to deforestation. SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

A popular target for ecotourists, many of whom come to the Himalayas to momentarily spot as many participants in "bird waves" as possible. ♦

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