Rufous-headed Robin

East Asia


Larvivora ruficeps


  • The main threat is likely to be the loss and fragmentation of forest.

The rufous-headed robin (Larvivora ruficeps) is a species of passerine bird in the family Muscicapidae. It is found in central China. Its natural habitats are temperate forests and temperate shrubland. This poorly known species is thought to be threatened by habitat loss.This is a small robin (average length 15 cm) with orange-rufous head, a black face, and a white throat with black bordering. Back, upper breast and flanks are grey, most of the belly and underparts are white. The tail is black with rufous fringes and blackish tips to outer feathers. The song is powerful and clearly phrased, and most similar to that of the Ryukyu robin.

The species has been recorded from only seven confirmed or probable breeding sites in the Qin Mountains of Sichuan and southern Shaanxi, and is also known from a very few scattered migrant records. While good population estimates are absent, it is assumed to have a very localized distribution and small total population size of no more than 1,500-3,800 individuals. It inhabits mixed coniferous and deciduous forest and scrubland in a very narrow altitude band (2,400-2,800 m above sea level), apparently making use of successional scrub in valley bottom areas subject to flash-floods. Using known breeding records of the rufous-headed robin, ecological niche modeling predicts that there should be suitable habitats for this species in north and central Sichuan, south Gansu, south Shaanxi and south-east Tibet.