Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

White-bellied Redstart (Hodgsonius phaenicuroides)


French: Bradybate à queue rouge German: Weißbauch-Rostschwanz Spanish: Colirrojo ventriblanco

Bradypterus phænicuroides

J. E. Gray and G. R. Gray

, 1847,



Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. p. phaenicuroides (J. E. Gray & G. R. Gray, 1847) – Himalayas from N Pakistan E to Bhutan and N & W Myanmar (S to Mt Victoria); non-breeding also at lower elevations in N & NE India, E Myanmar and possibly NW Thailand.
  • H. p. ichangensis E. C. S. Baker, 1922 – C & S China (E Qinghai, W & S Gansu, Ningxia and S Shaanxi, S to S & SE Xizang and W Yunnan) with an isolated population in the NE (Hebei and Beijing), possibly NW Vietnam; non-breeding also NW Thailand and N Laos.
  • Descriptive notes

    18–19 cm; 22–25 g. Male nominate race is slaty grey-blue, with clear-cut white belly merging with greyish flanks; two small white carpal spots, long black... read more


    Song, from covered perch in low dense bushes near forest edge (mainly in twilight and on moonlit... read more


    Occupies transition zone between open bushy areas and closed forest, clearly preferring undergrowth... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, berries. Feeds mainly on ground, darting forward in little spurts or runs. Expands and erects tail.


    End May to Jul. Nest is a deep, bulky cup of grass, dead leaves, roots and stems, lined with finer grass, hair and feathers, hidden on... read more


    Altitudinal and short-distance migrant. Arrives on Kashmir breeding grounds mid-May.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and fairly common in Himalayas; uncommon to fairly common in China. Rare to uncommon in Myanmar, N Laos and N Vietnam (W Tonkin).

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). White-bellied Redstart (Hodgsonius phaenicuroides). 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).