Common Tailorbird

Common tailorbird,Photo: Shaiful Islam Sourav

টুনটুনি / দর্জি / টুনি/ টোনা

Orthotomus sutorius, (Pennant, 1769)

রাজ্য / Kingdom: Animalia
বর্গ / Order: Passeriformes
পরিবার / Family: Cisticolidae
গন / Genus: Orthotomus
প্রজাতি / Species: O. sutorius

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Common tailorbird is a small and restless bird. It has bright olive-green upperparts and whitish underparts. Its thighs are rufous and has short and rounded wings. There are two elongated pinpointed feathers in the tail (breeding male). Center of the crown on the head is rufous and face is white. There are black patches on the neck. It has a long and down curved bill. Pale brown eyes and pinkish legs and feet. Both sexes are similar but in breeding plumage male possesses a long central tail feathers and less rufous on forehead for female.

Size and weight: Length is about 10 cm to 13 cm including the tail.The weight of adult is between 5 gm to 15 gm.

Behavior: It is very active when foraging into vegetation of woodland, in search of insects. They are usually shy, silent during non-breeding period. Male sings lustily during breeding season from favorite tree-top or post, mostly early mornings and late afternoon. It flicks its tail continuously and usually seen in pairs.

Food: Mainly insects and larvae. Also consumes small fruits, berries and flower nectar from Salmalia and Erythrina.

Habitat: It lives in deciduous forests, scrub lands, mangroves, open woodlands and gardens. Usually nest is a pad of grass, rootlets, hairs etc. in a hole in old walls, tree-trunk or bough. It got its name by the way it makes its nest, sewing leaves together with spider webs or fine grass or hair.

Call: A rapid series of monotonous and repeated “swee-ee” and harsh “chur-r” or “chwee-o,  chi-up, chee-rup”.

Reproduction: Breeding season starts in January and lasts till June. But it depends on the place like in India breeding season is from April to July and in Srilanka, it’s from November to August and earlier in the south. Female lays eggs numbering from 3 to 5 which are pale blue-green in color, blotched and mottled with reddish brown. Female incubates and male shares other domestic chores.

Distribution: It is resident, and breeds in South Asia, from Pakistan and India to South China, and Indonesia. It can be found up to 2500 meters of elevation in SW Asia. It is absent in arid areas. Due to this there is three races, on minor size and color differences.


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