Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Himalayan bluetail

Binomial name: Tarsiger rufilatus, Brian Houghton Hodgson, 1845

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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Scientific classification

Tarsiger rufilatus


  • Luscinia cyanura rufilata
  • Tarsiger cyanurus rufilatus


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

Range Map

Distribution map of Himalayan bluetail, Tarsiger rufilatus in Thailand
Range map of Tarsiger rufilatus in Thailand