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White-rumped shama

White-rumped shama
Photo Information
Copyright: Nagesh Vannur (nagesh) Silver Note Writer [C: 0 W: 0 N: 69] (362)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2015-04-04
Categories: Birds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2015-04-05 6:28
Viewed: 1853
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
White-rumped shama

The white-rumped shama (Copsychus malabaricus) is a small passerine bird of the family Muscicapidae. Native to densely vegetated habitats in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, its popularity as a cage-bird and songster has led to it being introduced elsewhere.


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.


The nominate race is found in the Western Ghats and parts of southern India while leggei is found in Sri Lanka. Race indicus is found in the northern parts of India. Race albiventris is found in the Andaman Islands and now usually considered a distinct species, the Andaman shama. Race interpositus from southwester Asia-China to Myanmar, Thailand and the Mergui Archipelago. Southern China has race minor while mallopercnus is found in the Malay peninsula. Race tricolor is found in the Sumatra, Java, Banka, Belitung and Karimata islands. Race mirabilis from the Sunda Strait, melanurus from northwestern Sumatra, opisthopelus, javanus, omissus, ochroptilus, abbotti, eumesus, suavis (Borneo), nigricauda, stricklandii and barbouri are the other island forms. The last two are sometimes regarded as a separate species, the white-crowned shama (C. stricklandii).


They typically weigh between 28 and 34 g (1.0 and 1.2 oz) and are around 23–28 cm (9–11 in) in length. Males are glossy black with a chestnut belly and white feathers on the rump and outer tail. Females are more greyish-brown, and are typically shorter than males. Both sexes have a black bill and pink feet. Juveniles have a greyish-brown colouration, similar to that of the females, with a blotchy or spotted chest.



The white-rumped shama is shy and somewhat crepuscular but very territorial. The territories include a male and female during the breeding season with the males defending the territory averaging 0.09 ha in size, but each sex may have different territories when they are not breeding.

In South Asia, they breed from January to September but mainly in April to June laying a clutch of four or five eggs in a nest placed in the hollow of tree. During courtship, males pursue the female, alight above the female, give a shrill call, and then flick and fan out their tail feathers. This is followed by a rising and falling flight pattern by both sexes. If the male is unsuccessful, the female will threaten the male, gesturing with the mouth open.

The nest is built by the female alone while the male stands guard. The nests are mainly made of roots, leaves, ferns, and stems, and incubation lasts between 12 and 15 days and the nestling period averaged 12.4 days. Both adults feed the young although only the female incubates and broods. The eggs are white to light aqua, with variable shades of brown blotching, with dimensions of about 18 and 23 mm (0.7 and 0.9 in).


They feed on insects in the wild but in captivity they may be fed on a diet of boiled, dried legumes with egg yolk and raw meat.


The voice of this species is rich and melodious which made them popular as cage birds in South Asia with the tradition continuing in parts of Southeast Asia. It is loud and clear, with a variety of phrases, and often mimics other birds. They also make a 'Tck' call in alarm or when foraging. One of the first recordings of a bird song that was ever made was of this species. This recording was made in 1889 from a captive individual using an Edison wax cylinder by Ludwig Koch in Germany.

Distribution and habitat

They are native to South and Southeast Asia, but have been introduced to Kaua'i, Hawai'i, in early 1931 from Malaysia (by Alexander Isenberger), and to O'ahu in 1940 (by the Hui Manu Society). Their popularity as a cage bird has led to many escaped birds establishing themselves. They have been introduced to Taiwan where they are considered an invasive species, eating native insect species and showing aggression towards native bird species.

In Asia, their habitat is dense undergrowth especially in bamboo forests. In Hawaii, they are common in valley forests or on the ridges of the southern Ko'olaus, and tend to nest in undergrowth or low trees of lowland broadleaf forests.


BirdLife International (2013). "Copsychus malabaricus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
to: a b c d Rasmussen PC & Anderton, JC (2005) Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Smithsonian Institution & Lynx Edicions, ISBN 8487334679, pp. 395–396
to: a b c d e f Aguon, Celestino Flores and Conant, Sheila (1994). "Breeding biology of the white-rumped Shama on Oahu, Hawaii". Wilson Bulletin 106 (2): 311–328.
Whistler, H (1949) Popular handbook of Indian birds. Gurney and Jackson. p. 110
Ali, S. and Ripley, S. D. (1973). Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan. Vol. 8., Oxford Univ. Press, Bombay, India.
Jerdon, T. C. (1863) Birds of India. Vol 2. part 1. page 131
Ranft, Richard (2004) Natural sound archives: past, present and future. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. 76(2):456–460 doi:10.1590/S0001-37652004000200041
Bao-Sen Shieh, Ya-Hui Lin, Tsung-Wei Lee, Chia-Chieh Chang and Kuan-Tzou Cheng (2006). "Pet Trade as Sources of Introduced Bird Species in Taiwan". Taiwania 51 (2): 81–86.
All Information Wikipedia - Sources
More Information. Check my website :
Exchangeable image file format (Exif)
Nikon D3X
550.0 mm
Flash (off, did not fire)
Location: The Western Ghats are a mountain range that runs almost parallel to the western coast of Indian peninsula. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight "hottest hotspots" of biological diversity in the world. It is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India. The range runs north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, and separates the plateau from a narrow coastal plain, called Konkan, along the Arabian Sea. A total of thirty nine properties including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests were designated as world heritage sites - twenty in Kerala, ten in Karnataka, five in Tamil Nadu and four in Maharashtra.

The range starts near the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra, south of the Tapti river, and runs approximately 1,600 km (990 mi) through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala ending at Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of India. These hills cover 160,000 km2 (62,000 sq mi) and form the catchment area for complex riverine drainage systems that drain almost 40% of India. The Western Ghats block southwest monsoon winds from reaching the Deccan Plateau. The average elevation is around 1,200 m (3,900 ft).

The area is one of the world's ten "Hottest biodiversity hotspots" and has over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species and 288 freshwater fish species; it is likely that many undiscovered species live in the Western Ghats. At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats.
Photo Taken By. 2015 -- Photo Taken Time:
Thank you very much for reading:)

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Excellent Work! Informative NOTE. TFS.....!

Plain excellent.
Good compo and DOF
The background is very pleasing.

Hello Naghesh
Great capture of this wonderful species. Lovely composition wonderful natural colors.Excelĺent sharpness.Well done!
Best wishes

Interesting that two images of White Rumped Shama appear here close to each other but geographically from quite far apart. And how beautiful they are. The colours are out of this world and in such excellent overall quality. Very well done indeed. It is a real pleasure to view.

Another great post of this bird on the gallery today, Nagesh.
A flawless and beautiful image with exceptional sharpness and beautiful colours.
The plain BG makes the subject stand out extremely well.
PS: I would again suggest to-the-point and brief selection of a note.

Hello Naghesh,

TOP shot of this exotic and colorful bird , also very sharp picture.

Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2015-04-07 14:39]

Hi Nagesh,spectacular capture of this beautiful specie not often seen on TN,great sharpness and bright colors for the best result.Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2015-04-07 17:43]

Hello Nagesh,
What a gorgeous specimen you have chosen to present to us. The colors are so beautiful and the detail is exceptional. Wonderful eye contact with a bit of catchlight. I really like the clean BG. Great capture!!

Hello Naghesh
Great capture of this White-rumped shama.

Bonjour Naghesh,
C'est beau ; magnifiquement restitué dans une splendide lumière même s'il manque un peu de profondeur de champ sur la queue du sujet.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

  • Great 
  • nanreh Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 12 N: 258] (2191)
  • [2015-04-13 20:20]

Extremely delicate light. Bathed in a velvety way plumage of this beautiful bird.
Hernán Bortondello

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