Category of Nilgiri Blue Robin
Nilgiri Blue Robin which is also known as Nilgiri Shortwing, White-Bellied Shortwing or Rufous-Bellied Shortwing refers to a kind of bird in the family of Muscicapidae.
Concentration of Nilgiri Blue Robin
Nilgiri Blue Robin is endemic to the Shola forests of the higher hills of southern part of India, mainly north of the Palghat Gap. Both the White-Bellied Blue Robin and this species were once treated as sub-species of a single species (M. major) and in 2005 were elevated again to full species by Pamela C. Rasmussen, a treatment that is followed by a few lists. The genus placement remains uncertain. This small bird is found on the forest floor and undergrowth of dense forest patches sheltered in the valleys of montane grassland, a restricted and threatened habitat.
Structure of Nilgiri Blue Robin
Nilgiri Blue Robin is a chat-like bird is long-legged and appears chunky with its short tail and wing. Although sharing similar habits and shape, the two species differ in plumage and both may show slight sexual dimorphism. Females may differ from males in iris colour at least in M. albiventris. Nilgiris Blue Robin has the lores black and the upperside, the throat and breast are dark slaty blue but the lower plumage is rufous. The centre of the belly is buffy white. The brow is not as well-marked as in the other species and is diffusing bluish.
Description of Nilgiri Blue Robin
Thomas C. Jerdon obtained a specimen of the rufous-bellied species from the Nilgiris and called it Phaenicura major in 1844 but Edward Blyth suggested that the species should be placed in the genus Callene that he had separated from the already extant Brachypteryx, a genus in which he also placed the blue-fronted robin (now Cinclidium frontale then Callene frontalis). Jerdon then suggested the new name of Callene rufiventris, a name not used due to the priority given to the names first proposed. Eugene Oates in the first edition of The Fauna of British India moved the species back into the genus Brachypteryx stating that they were congeneric with Brachypteryx montana while also noting that the young birds were speckled as in true-thrushes like Callene. Oates also used the name "Rufous-bellied Short-wing".
Natural Habitat of Nilgiri Blue Robin
The natural habitat of Nilgiri Blue Robin is forest patches in the valleys of high altitude grasslands known as sholas. The species has been found to occur only above 1200 m altitude in the higher hill ranges of southern India. These forest patches are highly restricted in size and the species is thus threatened by habitat loss. These birds are found in dense forest in the dark lower canopy and forest floor. They are skulking but can be confiding. They call frequently with tit-like notes and harsh rattles. The song of M. major is said to be series of shrill whistles and twangy buzzing sounds. Geographically isolated populations show variations in their songs. Birds have been noted to moult their tail feathers in the beginning of June. Little is known of their dispersal, longevity and other aspects of life history although more than 133 birds have been ringed.
Eggs of Nilgiri Blue Robin
Nilgiri Blue Robin has the two greyish green and brown-marked eggs are laid during the breeding season that varies from April to June, after the rains.
Nests of Nilgiri Blue Robin
The nest of Nilgiri Blue Robin is placed in a tree hole or placed on a bank and is made of moss and fibrous roots and placed low over the ground. The incubation period is about 16 to 17 days. Both parents share the nesting duties like incubation and feeding the nestlings. Old nests from the previous year may sometimes be reused.
(Last Updated on : 28-12-2015)
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