Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Himalayan bluetail

Tarsiger rufilatus, Brian Houghton Hodgson, 1845

(In Thai: นกเขนน้อยพันธุ์หิมาลัย)

The Himalayan bluetail or Himalayan red-flanked bush-robin also called the Orange-flanked bush-robin (Tarsiger rufilatus) is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher of Muscicapidae. While currently under review, this taxon is not current recognized as a species by BirdLife international.

It is closely related to the red-flanked bluetail and was generally treated as a subspecies of it in the past, but as well as differing in its migratory behaviour (the red-flanked bluetail is a long-distance migrant), it also differs in the more intense blue colour of the adult males and the greyer colour of the females and juveniles.

Description and distribution

The Himalayan bluetail is a short-distance altitudinal migrant species, breeding in the Himalaya in bush layer (dwarf rhododendron in wetter areas, deciduous bushes in drier) of conifer and mixed conifer-oak forest, main species fir (Abies) but sometimes in areas with Picea smithiana or Pinus wallichiana/Cupressus torulosa forest; at 3000–4400 m, not penetrating beyond tree-line and in winters found at 1, 500–2, 500 m typically in broadleaf evergreen forest, dense dark undergrowth and thickets, clearings, treefall gaps with vine tangles, open woodland; commonly seen along tracks; favours ridges and mountain tops. It is insectivorous.

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Category / Seasonal Status

Wiki listed status (concerning Thai population): Winter visitor

BCST Category: Recorded in an apparently wild state within the last 50 years

BCST Seasonal status: Non-breeding visitor

Scientific classification

Tarsiger rufilatus

Common names

  • Thai: นกเขนน้อยพันธุ์หิมาลัย


  • Luscinia cyanura rufilata
  • Tarsiger cyanurus rufilatus


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Himalayan Bluetail (male)
Himalayan bluetail (female)
Himalayan Bluetail

Copyright cowboy5437

Himalayan Bluetail

Range Map

Distribution map of Himalayan bluetail, Tarsiger rufilatus in Thailand
  • Chae Son National Park
  • Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Lang
  • Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
  • Doi Suthep - Pui National Park
  • Mae Fa Luang District, Chiang Rai
  • Pha Daeng National Park
  • Phu Chi Fa Forest Park
Range map of Tarsiger rufilatus in Thailand