Unsorted Wild Birds

White-rumped Shamas

The White-rumped Shamas (Copsychus malabaricus) is a small passerine bird of the family Muscicapidae. It was formerly classified as a member of the Thrush family, Turdidae, causing it to be commonly known as the White-rumped Shama Thrush or simply Shama Thrush.


They are native to South Asia, but were introduced to Kaua’i, Hawai’i, in early 1931 from Malaysia, and to O’ahu in 1940. They are common in valley forests or on the ridges of the southern Ko’olaus, and tend to nest in undergrown or low trees of lowland broadleaf forests.

Physical Characteristics

They typically weigh between 1 and 1.2 ounces and are around 9 to 11 inches in length. Males are glossy black with a chestnut belly and white feathers on the rump and outer tail. Females are more grayish-brown, and are typically shorter than males. Both sexes have a black bill and pink feet. Juveniles have a more grayish or brownish coloration, similar to that of the females, with a blotchy or spotted chest.


White-rumped Shamas are shy, but very territorial. The territories include a male and female during the breeding season with the males defending the territory, but each sex may have different territories when they are not breeding.

The voice of this species is rich and melodious. It is loud and clear, with a variety of phrases, and often mimics other birds. They also make a clicking (‘Tck’) sound with their wings when they are in distress or flying over open areas.


During courtship, males pursue the female, alight above the female, give a shrill call, and then flick and fan out their tail feathers. It is followed by a rising and falling flight pattern by both sexes. It the male is unsuccessful, the female will threaten the male, gesturing with the mouth open.

Parental behavior includes both sexes participating. The nests are mainly comprised of roots, leaves, ferns, and stems, and incubation lasts between 12 and 15 days. The eggs are white to light aqua, with variable shades of brown blotching, and are approximately 0.7 by 0.9 inches.

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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