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Bird news from Vietnam, from Vietnam's resident and visiting birders.

11 December 2012

The two species of Bluetails on my patch

The last few weeks, I photographed 2 adult males Red-flanked Bluetails at the Botanical Gardens (Hanoi). They were quite different: one had dark blue (Prussian blue) upperparts and shining blue eyebrow; the other one had lighter blue upperparts and white eyebrow.

After some research it appears that they belong to 2 sub-species, respectively rufilatus and cyanurus. But recently, rufilatus has been elevated to species rank as Himalayan Bluetail (Tarsiger rufilatus) on the basis of its more intense blue colour and its migratory behaviour (short-distance altitudinal migrant, not a long-distance migrant). A patch tick and a lifer for me!

The Himalayan Bluetail (Tarsiger rufilatus) is a short-distance altitudinal migrant, breeding in the Himalaya and southeastern Tibet / Photos taken on Nov. 19, 2012.

 Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus) / Photos taken on Dec. 10, 2012.


  1. Even by your standards this is exceptional birding Sebastian!

    1. Thanks Simon...

      As you know the quality of birding at this location can be highly variable. One day ecstatic, the day after very boring...
      But this season is not so bad ;)