Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Little Forktail (Enicurus scouleri)


French: Énicure nain German: Stummelscherenschwanz Spanish: Torrentero chico

Enicurus Scouleri


, 1832,

Simla, Himalayas


Isolated population in Taiwan named as fortis, on average very slightly larger and with more white on forecrown, but overlap in these characters with birds from elsewhere in range considered too great to warrant recognition. Monotypic.


Tajikistan and W Tien Shan and Pamir-Alai E through Himalayas to NE India (Arunachal Pradesh and S Assam hills), C & E China (N to S Gansu and N Zhejiang), W Myanmar (possibly winter only), NW Vietnam, and Taiwan.

Descriptive notes

12–14 cm; 11–19 g. Smallest forktail, with notched, relatively short tail. Has black head to upper breast, back, wings and central tail, with white rounded... read more


Relatively silent. Song and calls not well distinguished, two vocalizations reported: very soft,... read more


Margins of montane watercourses, from small rocky streams less than 3 m wide to the most rugged... read more

Food and feeding

Chiefly aquatic insects and crustacea; nine stomachs from Tadjikistan contained tipulids, staphylinid beetles, buprestid beetles, ants,... read more


Apr in Afghanistan and Apr–Jul in Pakistan and India; from Mar for several months in S China; two broods, at least in S China.... read more


Vertical movements and some short-distance migration; possibly only winter visitor in Myanmar.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon in Tien Shan and Pamir-Alai Mts. Locally frequent but generally fairly uncommon in Pakistan, where on two streams in one area of Gilgit a... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). Little Forktail (Enicurus scouleri). 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 28 February 2020).