Family Fantails (Rhipiduridae)

Least Concern

Timor Fantail (Rhipidura rufiventris)


French: Rhipidure à ventre chamois German: Timorfächerschwanz Spanish: Abanico de Timor
Other common names: Northern Fantail (when lumped with species recently split from it)

Platyrhynchos rufiventris


, 1818,

New Holland; error = Timor


Until very recently (see synchronous independent analysis#R) treated as a large polytypic species, but variation in Wallacea pronounced, leading to earlier recognition of R. diluta and R. fuscorufa; in addition to plumage differences, new acoustic evidence now extends the basis for many further separations, hence the split here of R. tenkatei, R. hoedti, R. bouruensis, R. obiensis, R. cinerea, R. assimilis, R. kordensis and R. isura. Present species differs from highly polytypic R. isura in its white breast, with grey breast sides marked with large vague white spots (3); tan vs pale tan belly (1); larger white tips on outer rectrices (1); fairly (to highly) divergent song (score for least divergent song: 3)#R. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. r. pallidiceps E. J. O. Hartert, 1904 – Wetar (in E Lesser Sundas).
  • R. r. rufiventris (Vieillot, 1818) – Timor and satellites (in E Lesser Sundas).
  • Descriptive notes

    16·2–18·5 cm. Nominate race has white supercilium from above lores to just above or behind eye; blackish-brown lores and sides of face; crown, nape and... read more


    Song a series of 7–10 drawn out, whistled, stop-start notes alternately inflected and... read more


    Variety of wooded habitats, including scrubby areas near villages, as well as roadside trees and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little information available. Feeds mainly on insects. Observed alone or in pairs.


    No definite information. Thought unlikely to differ significantly from congeners, e.g. R. isura.


    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern. Restricted-range species: confined to the Timor and Wetar EBA. Common or fairly common to numerous in most of range, being moderately... read more

    Recommended citation

    Boles, W. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Timor Fantail (Rhipidura rufiventris). 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).