Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Philippine Shortwing (Brachypteryx poliogyna)


French: Brachyptère des Philippines German: Philippinen-Bergkurzflügel Spanish: Alicorto filipino

Brachypteryx poliogyna


, 1895,

Lepanto, northern Luzon


Hitherto treated as conspecific with B. montana (and with the other six species now separated from this “parent”), but differs from all except B. erythrogyna and B. montana in characters given under those species, and from latter two species by (in female) rusty or dark brown throat (2); dark greyish or dark brownish underparts (2); and either (vs montana) lack of chestnut on flanks and lower upperparts (3) or (vs erythrogyna) lack of bold rufous on breast to belly and parts of head (3) and lack of chestnut tail (2). However, race mindanensis, although grouping with S Philippine taxa in female coloration, has a highly distinctive song (4)#R, in addition to which a population in South Cotabato, Mindanao, sings very differently and is elevationally parapatric (800–1000 m vs 1100 m upwards)#R, thus seemingly a separate species (i.e. potentially at least three species in the archipelago). Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. p. poliogyna Ogilvie-Grant, 1895 – Philippine Shortwing – N Philippines (N Luzon).
  • B. p. andersoni Rand & Rabor, 1967 – S Luzon.
  • B. p. mindorensis E. J. O. Hartert, 1916 – Mindoro.
  • B. p. sillimani Ripley & Rabor, 1962 – Mt Mantalingajan and Mt Victoria, on Palawan (W Philippines).
  • B. p. brunneiceps Ogilvie-Grant, 1896 – Negros and Panay.
  • B. p. malindangensis Mearns, 1909 – Mt Malindang, in Mindanao.
  • B. p. mindanensis Mearns, 1905 – Mt Apo Shortwing – Mt Apo, in Mindanao.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm; male 13–20 g, female 16–21 g (andersoni), sexes combined 11–18 g (mindorensis). Male nominate race has forehead and lores black, contrasting white... read more


    Vocalizations recently examined and analyzed. Song of nominate race on Luzon a leisurely delivered... read more


    Montane forest. In N Philippines, nominate race and andersoni favours dense jungle of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet consists of small invertebrates, including land snails. Forages among leaf litter or beside moss-covered fallen logs; usually well... read more


    Birds in breeding condition in May on Mindoro, and other evidence of breeding in country Feb–Aug, e.g. birds in breeding condition in Apr... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common to very common throughout Philippines; fairly common in upland forest on Mindoro. Population on Mindanao with... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Philippine Shortwing (Brachypteryx poliogyna). 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 18 September 2019).