Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Spotted Forktail (Enicurus maculatus)


French: Énicure tacheté German: Fleckenscherenschwanz Spanish: Torrentero moteado

Enicurus maculatus


, 1831,

Simla, Himalayas


Outlying race robinsoni has smaller, sparser spots on back than other taxa, but difference from guttatus minor. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. m. maculatus Vigors, 1831 – E Afghanistan and W & C Himalayas (E to C Nepal and S Tibetan Plateau).
  • E. m. guttatus Gould, 1866 – E Himalayas (from E Nepal), Myanmar and S China (SW Sichuan, W & C Yunnan).
  • E. m. bacatus Bangs & J. C. Phillips, 1914 – N Indochina and SE China (SE Yunnan E to Fujian).
  • E. m. robinsoni E. C. S. Baker, 1922 – Langbian Plateau, in SC Vietnam.
  • Descriptive notes

    25–26 cm; 34–48 g. Very like E. leschenaulti, but with white-spotted mantle. Nominate race has spots above shaped as half-circles. Sexes similar. Juvenile is... read more


    Song described as very beautiful and best of genus, but no further information; in apparent... read more


    Small sheltered streams and rivulets, preferably with strewn emergent rocks, tiny pools, tinkling... read more

    Food and feeding

    Aquatic insects and their larvae, and small molluscs. Caterpillars and an adult cranefly seen brought to nestlings. Forages on ground,... read more


    May in Afghanistan; Apr (apparent courtship Mar) to early Jul in Pakistan and elsewhere in Himalayas; Apr in Myanmar. Nest a neat but... read more


    Mainly sedentary; some altitudinal displacements to lower areas in winter.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally frequent in Pakistan; common in India; fairly common in Nepal and China, increasingly so at higher altitudes where more, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). Spotted Forktail (Enicurus maculatus). 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 17 February 2020).