Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Himalayan Rubythroat (Calliope pectoralis)


French: Rossignol à gorge rubis German: Bergrubinkehlchen Spanish: Ruiseñor pechinegro del Himalaya
Other common names: White-tailed Rubythroat

Calliope pectoralis


, 1837,

Western Himalayas


New study splits C. tschebaiewi (which see). Geographical variation somewhat clinal. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. p. ballioni (Severtsov, 1873) – Tien Shan S to S Tajikistan (Pamir range) and NE Afghanistan; non-breeding presumably at lower altitudes in C Himalayas.
  • C. p. pectoralis Gould, 1837 – Himalayas from N Pakistan, Kashmir, W Ladakh and N India E to C Nepal; non-breeding at lower altitudes in foothills and adjacent plains of C Himalayas.
  • C. p. confusa (E. J. O. Hartert, 1910) – E Nepal and Sikkim; non-breeding in adjacent foothills of Nepal and NE India.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–16 cm; 20–26 g. Very like C. calliope, except that brown replaced by grey. Male nominate race has prominent white supercilium, deep red chin and upper... read more


    Song, from exposed perch, a loud, shrill series of variable undulating warbling phrases consisting... read more


    Breeds in semi-open landscapes above treeline, such as tall-grass thickets in meadows, dwarf... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects (especially caterpillars in summer), spiders, molluscs and small reptiles. In Tien Shan, nine of 14 stomachs held ants and eight... read more


    Season May–Jun in Tien Shan and Pamirs–Alai and May–Aug elsewhere. Nest a domed structure with large open side entrance,... read more


    Nominate race and confusa make altitudinal and latitudinal movements, wintering in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common, and apparently very common in N Pakistan. Uncommon breeder in mountains of Tien Shan and Pamir–Alai. There is... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Himalayan Rubythroat (Calliope pectoralis). 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 17 September 2019).