Family Fantails (Rhipiduridae)

Least Concern

Seram Fantail (Rhipidura cinerea)


French: Rhipidure cendré German: Ambonfächerschwanz Spanish: Abanico de Seram

Rhipidura cinerea


, 1865,



One of several taxa recently split from R. rufiventris#R (which see). Differs from all other taxa in that complex by various characters in unique combination: white throat; bold white-streaked grey breastband; white belly to vent; uniformly slate-grey upperparts; and white outer vanes of outer rectrices with partial or no white tips; but song still unknown. Differs in particular from two geographically closest representatives of rufiventris complex (apart from R. hoedti and R. assimilis, which see) as follows: from R. bouruensis in its white vs grey throat (2); white vs rich tan belly to vent (3); slightly more white on outer tail (1); and longer bill (at least 1); and from R. obiensis in its heavily vs very lightly streaked breastband (3); lack of white fringes on secondaries (2); lack of white tail tips (2); uniform upperparts (ns[1]); and longer tail (allow 2). Differs from its next (after R. bouruensis) morphologically closest representative, R. hoedti, in its white vs rusty-cream belly to vent (2); lack of bold white tail tips (3); rather stronger breast streaks (1); and smaller size, with shorter tail and much shorter bill (allow 2). See also R. tenkatei. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Seram and Ambon, in S Moluccas.

Descriptive notes

c. 16–18 cm. Male has thin whitish supercilium; forehead, lores, crown and face black, rest of head dark grey, upperparts uniformly slate-grey; remiges dark grey; tail black... read more


Apparently undescribed.


Woodland of most types, including scrublands and plantations, below 1000 m.

Food and feeding

Small invertebrates. Forages alone or in pairs. No other information.


Nest with young in Jun on Seram. No further information.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: confined to the Seram EBA. Generally uncommon; perhaps locally fairly common. This species has a small... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Seram Fantail (Rhipidura cinerea). 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 16 December 2019).