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Culicicapa ceylonensis

Culicicapa ceylonensis calochrysea (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Parvordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Muscicapoidea
Familia: Muscicapidae
Genus: Culicicapa
Species: Culicicapa ceylonensis
Subspecies: C. c. antioxantha - C. c. calochrysea - C. c. ceylonensis - C. c. connectens - C. c. sejuncta


Culicicapa ceylonensis (Swainson, 1820)

Vernacular names


Zoological Illustrations 1 pl.13,text


The Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher, Culicicapa ceylonensis, is a small passerine bird. Formerly considered part of the "Old World flycatcher" assemblage and placed in the family Muscicapidae, but it is considered by others as part of the Stenostiridae. These are "flycatchers" closely related to titmice and chickadees (Paridae) [1]
The Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher is 13 cm long. It is a long-tailed flycatcher-like bird with an upright stance. The adult has a grey head and breast, green upperparts and bright yellow underparts.[2]

This species which breeds in in upland to montane oak (Quercus) and other broadleaved forests and similar wooded areas in temperate to tropical southern Asia, from Pakistan, Central India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia and southern China. Many populations are resident, but Himalayan birds are short-distance altitudinal migrants. In Bhutan for example, the species is not uncommon all year round, and can be found up to and above 2,000 meters ASL. Birds from high montane forest stay at lower altitudes for the winter, during which time the species is decidedly common in Bhutan. They are also found as winter migrants in the Western Ghats and parts of southern India.[3]

The Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher is an insectivore, which in its acrobatic, inquisitive hunt for prey reminds of its relatives in the Paridae. It breeds. The nest is built on a rock ledge or in a tree trunk, and the clutch is three or four eggs. A juvenile of the Chinese subspecies calochrysea was collected at Mouping in today's Baoxing County in Sichuan in early September.[4]

Not uncommon and found across a wide range, this bird is not considered threatened by the IUCN.[5]


1. ^ Barker et al. (2004), Beresford et al. (2005)
2. ^ Grimmett et al. (1999), Kazmierczak & van Perlo (2000)
3. ^ Grimmett et al. (1999), Inskipp et al. (2000), Kazmierczak & van Perlo (2000), BLI (2008)
4. ^ Bangs (1932), Grimmett et al. (1999)
5. ^ BLI (2008)


* Bangs, Outram (1932): Birds of western China obtained by the Kelley-Roosevelts expedition. Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Zool. Ser. 18(11): 343-379. Fulltext at the Internet Archive
* Barker, F. Keith; Cibois, Alice; Schikler, Peter A.; Feinstein, Julie & Cracraft, Joel (2004): Phylogeny and diversification of the largest avian radiation. PNAS 101(30): 11040-11045. doi:10.1073/pnas.0401892101 PDF fulltext Supporting information
* Beresford, P.; Barker, F.K.; Ryan, P.G. & Crowe, T.M. (2005): African endemics span the tree of songbirds (Passeri): molecular systematics of several evolutionary 'enigmas'. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B 272(1565): 849–858. doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2997 PDF fulltext Electronic appendix
* BirdLife International (BLI) (2008). Culicicapa ceylonensis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 12 May 2009.
* Grimmett, Richard; Inskipp, Carol, Inskipp, Tim & Byers, Clive (1999): Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.. ISBN 0-691-04910-6
* Inskipp, Carol; Inskipp, Tim & Sherub (2000): The ornithological importance of Thrumshingla National Park, Bhutan. Forktail 14: 147-162. PDF fulltext
* Kazmierczak, Krys & van Perlo, Ber (2000): A Field Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Pica Press, Sussex. ISBN 978-1-873403-79-2

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