Clement Francis M


White-bellied Shortwing © Clement Francis M

White-bellied Shortwing
(Brachypteryx major major)



Image details
1/30 sec, f/4; ISO 800
Canon 30D, Canon 500mm f4 IS
Location: Muthorai, Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Date: 10 April 2007

Shoot details
It’s a bird of the bushes and darker places in the rain forest system. They are silent during most part of the year and start calling by April which is a good sign for a birder. Their calls will what take them to their place of roost. Their darker colors help them to get camouflaged very well with their surroundings. This particular bird in Ooty was also photographed after going behind its calls. They breed during the peak monsoon months (End May to July at Ooty). I have been studying their habits for almost a decade. Photography is not possible during their breeding season due to the harsh rainy conditions. These are crepuscular, hence very active in the dark as well. This is one of my better images of this shy bird.

Species details
This is a small 15cm bird endemic to the montane evergreen forests of  South-west India.  Recent re-evaluation by Rasmussen & Anderton (2005) has placed the bird in Myiomela as a full species - Nilgiri Blue Robin Myiomela major. The species is considered vulnerable due to habitat loss.

A Birds of India presentation


This image is copyrighted by the photographer. All rights reserved.