White-throated Fantails

The White-throated Fantail, Rhipidura albicollis, is a small passerine bird . It was previously classified with the Old World flycatcher family Muscicapidae, but the paradise flycatchers, monarch flycatchers and Australasian fantails are now normally grouped with the drongos in the family Dicruridae, which has most of its members in Australasia and tropical southern Asia.

White-throated Fantail

White-spotted Fantail

Distribution / Range

The White-throated Fantail breeds across tropical southern Asia from the Himalayas, India and Bangladesh east to Indonesia. This species is found in forest, scrub and cultivation.

Three eggs are laid in a small cup nest in a tree.


The adult White-throated Fantail is about 19 cm long. It has a dark fan-shaped tail, edged in white, and white supercilium and throat.

There is otherwise much variation in plumage between races. For example:

  • the Himalayan R. a. canescans is mainly slate grey above and below, with a black eye mask, whereas
  • R. a. albogularis of peninsular India has dark grey upperparts, whitish underparts, and a grey breast band.
White-throated Fantail

Diet / Feeding

The White-throated Fantail is insectivorous, and often fans its tail as it moves through the undergrowth.

White-throated Fantail

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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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