basic information

White-capped Redstart

Chaimarrornis leucocephalus (Vigors, 1831)

Белошапочная горихвостка | Ақбас қызылқұйрық

Almarasan gorge, Ile Alatau National Park
© Gennadiy Dyakin


White-capped Redstart is a bright colored bird. Background color is black with metal glance which is not well appreciable from distance. The abdomen, rear part of the back, uppertail and large part of the tail are reddish-rufous color. There is the wide black band on the tail's end. The crown is white. Males and females are similar but on carefully contemplation of color especially on breeding time it is probably to behold the difference between males and females. Males have some larger white crown than females. The bright metal glance of the black feathers of breast, neck and craw is observed on males only. These feathers on females are dimmer. White-capped Redstart is a bird on size similar to Eversmann's and Guldenstadt's Redstarts. Birds often up and down the tail like Himalayan Rubythroat or Bluethroat. This character is appropriate to White-capped Redstart only and is distinguished it on other redstarts. It sing on breeding time only. In contradistinction to other redstarts White-capped Redstart lives only near heavy mountains rivers and never far departs from rivers on summer and winter both.


Lives in central parts of Asia from Turkestan to northern Indochina. In Kazakhstan the first and one only White-capped Redstart was recorded on September 08 2008 in Almaarasan gorge (Ile Alatau National Park).


White-capped Redstart being common resident of the mountains makes seasonal vertical migrations. Autumn migration begins in early October when Redstarts depart breeding area on account of becoming of adverse live conditions. On wintering this Redstart comes down a quite low and is observed on 900-1100 meters high. On wintering Redstarts live singly or by pairs. On spring time White-capped Redstart departs the wintering places. Spring migration occurs on end February to early March and depends on climatic conditions of individual years. Hereby vertical migration of White-capped Redstart on mountain rivers valleys happens on 800-3000 meter high, horizontal migration sometimes may be on a quite large distance. Common breeding areas of White-capped Redstart are quite bushing coasts of strong mountain rivers and affluents with rock and other solid slopes. Generally it stands aback from wide river valleys and prefers narrow rock hollows with different size stones. In wide river valleys White-capped Redstarts could be observed on winter vertical migration only. Nesting begins quite late in the end of May. One of the main causes of it is the hard climatic conditions and the large banks of snow in the breeding areas of Redstarts. White-capped Redstart builds the nest in secluded places with many stones fragments which are responsible defense to the clutch; in the splits or under the rocks nearby the water stream. Only female incubates about two weeks and same time the juveniles stay in the nest. First chicks appear at first decade of July but the most part at the middle of this month. Generally wild bird but on female incubating time the male being in the nesting area permits to close on a quite short distance. After juveniles fledging White-capped Redstarts a few time lives by broods. On September broods decay. Generally White-capped Redstarts have one brood per summer. The specialty character of molting of White-capped Redstart (and other high mountains resident birds) is intensity and short term of molting. At molting period the adult birds close completely lost the use of flight. The pairs of White-capped Redstarts are invariable at least of old birds. At summer it eats ants, grasshoppers, little spiders, flies, beetles and other insects; at winter eats berries of hawthorn, wild cherry, briar and other fruits and berries of trees and bushes vegetating on the rivers coasts. Pantophagy is specific feature of this resident bird.


И.А.Абдусалямов "Фауна Таджикской ССР". Том XIX, часть 2. Птицы. Душанбе - 1973.


other names

Водяная горихвостка

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Indian Birds Club

Birds of Kyrgyzstan

Birds of Northern Eurasia

Birds of Tajikistan

Birds of Uzbekistan

Birds of Xinjiang

unidentified birds


Игорь Фефелов: На подхвостье даже не скобки, а прямо копьевидные пестрины...


Анна Ясько: Скорее всего, тоже белошапочная.


Андрей Коваленко: Зяблик. Но я бы такие фото не выставлял...

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