Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Red-faced Liocichla (Liocichla phoenicea)


French: Garrulaxe à ailes rouges German: Karminflügel-Bunthäherling Spanish: Charlatán carirrojo
Other common names: Crimson-faced Liocichla

Ianthocincla phoenicea


, 1837,



Has been treated in expanded genus Garrulax, but placement in present genus supported by recent molecular studies#R. Often treated as conspecific with L. ripponi and these two are sisters#R. No definite records from Nepal, despite type locality restriction (although “Nepal” specimens exist). Birds at Gongshan, in NW Yunnan (China), of uncertain race, presumed to belong with nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. p. phoenicea (Gould, 1837) – Sikkim and N West Bengal E to Bhutan and NE India (Arunachal Pradesh) and adjacent N Myanmar and S China (Gongshan, in extreme NW Yunnan).
  • L. p. bakeri (E. J. O. Hartert, 1908) – Meghalaya, S Assam (N Cachar), Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, in NE India, N & W Myanmar and adjacent S China (W Yunnan).
  • Descriptive notes

    21–23 cm; 42–53 g. Fairly small laughingthrush-like babbler, mostly plain brown but with crimson face and throat sides, bold black lateral crownstripe and scarlet... read more


    Has loud, beautiful, clear, cheerful song of repeated phrases of 5–8 notes (sometimes... read more


    Dense undergrowth in broadleaf evergreen forest, dense thickets of secondary growth bordering... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, berries and seeds. Usually found singly, in pairs or in small groups of 4–5 individuals, depending on season (small flocks... read more


    Mar–Sept; in Bhutan singing birds occupy territory mid-Apr to late autumn, with peak song activity mid-May to Jul. Nest a fairly deep... read more


    Resident. Claimed status as winter visitor in Nameri National Park, in Assam (NE India), requires... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). No known records from Nepal after original description until 2016; indeed, had been considered Regionally Extinct. In Bhutan,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N., Robson, C. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Red-faced Liocichla (Liocichla phoenicea). 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 26 February 2020).