Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Indian Robin (Saxicoloides fulicatus)


French: Pseudotraquet indien German: Strauchschmätzer Spanish: Tarabilla terrestre
Other common names: Indian Black Robin

(Motacilla) fulicata


, 1766,

Philippines; error = Pondicherry, India


Races intergrade. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. f. cambaiensis (Latham, 1790) – Pakistan (S from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to E Baluchistan), N & W India (E to Bihar, S to R Tapti) and S Nepal.
  • S. f. erythrurus (Lesson, 1832) – NE India (from E Bihar) and N Bangladesh#R.
  • S. f. intermedius Whistler & Kinnear, 1932 – C India (R Tapti, S Madhya Pradesh and Odisha S to R Krishna).
  • S. f. fulicatus (Linnaeus, 1766) – S India (S from R Krishna).
  • S. f. leucopterus (Lesson, 1840) – Sri Lanka.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 16 cm; 17–20 g. Male nominate race is glossy black above and below, with white shoulder patch and chestnut vent; long black tail typically cocked; black bill and... read more


    Song a very short, high-pitched, creaky squeaky jumble of 4–5 notes in minor key, used in... read more


    Palm groves, bare hillsides, open rocky places, newly burnt clearings, cultivated “cheenas... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects (including termites, ants, beetles, flies, caterpillars, grasshoppers, bees and wasps) and their eggs, spiders; marked preference... read more


    Mainly Apr–Jun in Pakistan and India but variable, Dec–Jul, even into Aug; Mar–Sept in Sri Lanka; two broods, sometimes... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in Pakistan and throughout Indian Subcontinent S of Himalayas; uncommon to rare in S Nepal. Very common in dry zone but less so in wet zone in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Bonan, A. (2020). Indian Robin (Saxicoloides fulicatus). 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).