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GALLERIES > BIRDS > MUSCICAPOIDEA > MUSCICAPIDAE > BROWN ROCKCHAT [Cercomela fusca]


Brown Rockchat Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Brown Rock Chat or Indian Chat (Cercomela fusca) is a bird in the chat (Saxicolinae) subfamily that is largely resident in north-central India. The name is sometimes written Brown Rock-Chat.

It is a ground feeding bird, like most chats; in fact, chats are the only ground feeding subfamily in the Old World flycatchers family (Muscicapidae); until recently they were in the thrush (Turdidae) family.

Distribution

Endemic to the central portion of the Indian peninsula, north of the Narmada river, from Punjab (Pakistan) in the west through Punjab (India), Uttar Pradesh, Bihar to West Bengal, and in the western Himalayan foothills up to 1300 m. Vagrants in Nepal and North Pakistan. A common species, but non-uniformly distributed; and also exhibiting some local seasonal movements.

  • Local Names: Dauma (Hindi, Uttar Pradesh); Shama (Hindi, Madhya Pradesh). Kalo patharal piddo (Gujarat).

Description at Hodal in Faridabad District of Haryana, India. at Hodal in Faridabad District of Haryana, India.
  • Appearance: Slightly larger than the Sparrow (ca. 17 cm), this is a reddish brown bird, brown above, and rufous brown below, with darker wings and blackish tail. It is similar to the female Indian Robin in appearance, but does not have the reddish chestnut vent (patch under the tail). It may also be confused with the female Blue Rock Thrush in flight.
  • Habitat: Rocky hills, ravines, ruins of ancient tombs and forts, and in suburban compounds, occasionally visiting inhabited homes or nesting in rafters. Seen singly or in pairs.
  • Behaviour: Feeds on the ground. Usually tame and confiding. Aggressive near nest and will readily attack squirrels, rats, lizards or other intruders.
  • Voice: A short whistling chee while bobbing the upper body. Sweet thrush-like song in breeding season. Is a good mimic, has been recorded imitating to perfection the songs of Yellow-eyed Babbler, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, and Smaller Grey Cuckoo-Shrike. Alarm note: a harsh check-check. Nearly eight different kinds of calls have been noted.
  • Food: Beetles, ants, and other, mostly ground insects.

Nesting
  • Season: February to August, mainly April-June.
  • Nest: rough cup made from root fibers, wool, hair, etc,, placed in a rock crevice or hollow in wall.
  • Eggs: 3 or 4, pale blue with rusty specks and spots at large end. Average size of 50 eggs: 20.5x15.5 mm.
  • Chores: Female only incubates (period unknown). Young leave nest 14/15 days after hatching. May be ready to breed one year after birth. Often rears two broods in a season, can be up to three.

Gallery

at Hodal in Faridabad District of Haryana, India.

at Hodal in Faridabad District of Haryana, India.

at Hodal in Faridabad District of Haryana, India.

at Hodal in Faridabad District of Haryana, India.

at Hodal in Faridabad District of Haryana, India.





                                     



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