Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Chinese Shortwing (Brachypteryx sinensis)


French: Brachyptère du Fujian German: China-Bergkurzflügel Spanish: Alicorto chino

Brachypteryx sinensis


, 1897,

Guadun, north-west Fujian, China


Hitherto treated as conspecific with B. montana (and with the other six species now separated from this “parent”), but differs from nearest-neighbour B. cruralis and B. goodfellowi in characters given under those species, and from the remaining species in characters it shares or part-shares with cruralis and goodfellowi, namely (in female) mid-brown plumage (3); pale brown eyering (2); and (in male) song type with a short song phrase-length (1) and distinctive pattern of introductory notes and warbled phrase (2)#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

C & SE China (S Shaanxi to N Guizhou, Guangxi, Guangdong and NW Fujian).

Descriptive notes

12–13 cm. Male has striking white supercilium narrowing behind eye; otherwise head and upperparts almost uniformly dark slaty blue, darker on wings, with thin whitish edge on... read more


Typical song a short phrase with few notes, starting with a fairly short note on flat pitch and... read more


Dense shady undergrowth in mature forest, from hills to at least 3000 m. Prefers damp areas near... read more

Food and feeding

Few data. Diet consists of small invertebrates. Forages on and just above ground, searching among litter and on logs and lowest branches.... read more


Nothing known. Details unlikely to differ significantly from those relating to B. cruralis (which see).


Resident; some seasonal altitudinal movements.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). This species has a very large global range. Its population is believed to be decreasing, largely as a result of habitat loss and... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Chinese Shortwing (Brachypteryx sinensis). 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 25 February 2020).