Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Large Niltava (Niltava grandis)


French: Grand Gobemouche German: Kobaltblauschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas grande

Chaïtaris grandis


, 1842,

Darjeeling, India


Race decorata reported to differ vocally compared to all other races#R, but shares plumage characters with race decipiens. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. g. grandis (Blyth, 1842) – Himalayas from C Nepal E to NE India (Arunachal Pradesh S to Assam, Meghalaya and Manipur), S China (SE Xizang and W Yunnan), C Myanmar and N & W Thailand.
  • N. g. griseiventris La Touche, 1921 – S China (SE Yunnan, probably this race also in W Guangxi#R#R), NE & C Laos and NW Vietnam.
  • N. g. decipiens Salvadori, 1891 – #RS Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra.
  • N. g. decorata Robinson & Kloss, 1919 – SC Vietnam (Da Lat Plateau in S Annam).
  • Descriptive notes

    20–22 cm; 25–40 g. Large forest flycatcher, the largest Asian flycatcher, stocky and fairly sluggish, with dark blue (male) or dark olive-brown (female) plumage.... read more


    Song a simple sequence of 3 or 4 soft, rising, melancholy whistles, “uu-uu-du-di”, or... read more


    Dense, mature, moist hill, submontane and montane broadleaf forests; in Malay Peninsula often in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food items include small to medium-sized invertebrates, and berries; large crickets (Orthoptera) and small snakes also taken. Usually... read more


    Season Feb–Jul. Nest a bulky open or domed cup of green moss, bryophytes and plant fibres and rootlets, placed up to 6 m from ground... read more


    Resident and short-distance altitudinal migrant. Post-breeding descent to lower levels in Himalayas... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally uncommon to fairly common. Local and uncommon from Nepal E to Bhutan, and uncommon in S China. Locally common in N & C Laos, common in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2020). Large Niltava (Niltava grandis). 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 23 January 2020).