Family Fantails (Rhipiduridae)

Least Concern

Blue-headed Fantail (Rhipidura cyaniceps)


French: Rhipidure à tête bleue German: Graukopf-Fächerschwanz Spanish: Abanico cabeciazul de Luzón

Muscipeta cyaniceps


, 1855,

Mount Makiling, Luzon, Philippines


Until recently treated as conspecific with R. sauli and R. albiventris (see those two species). Molecular evidence#R suggests that race pinicola may be invalid; further study of scarce specimen material required. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. c. pinicola Parkes, 1958 – NW Luzon (S to Bataan), in N Philippines.
  • R. c. cyaniceps (Cassin, 1855) – NE, C & S Luzon and Catanduanes.
  • Descriptive notes

    18 cm; 10–17·5 g (nominate), 10–18·5 g (pinicola). Nominate race has head and mantle greyish blue, feather shafts paler blue, remaining... read more


    Call during foraging a sharp, metallic, staccato “chip-chip-chip-chip chip chip”, slowing towards... read more


    Variety of wooded habitats, from primary forest, particularly oak and pine, and forest edge to... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, captured in short sallies. Feeds from understorey to 15 m. Joins mixed-species foraging flocks.


    Breeding activity and birds with enlarged gonads in Feb–May; eggs in Apr and nestlings in third and fourth weeks of May. Nest a small... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: confined to the Luzon EBA. Common in most of range. This fantail has a large range extending across some... read more

    Recommended citation

    Boles, W. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Blue-headed Fantail (Rhipidura cyaniceps). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 6 December 2019).