Silver-rumped Spinetail (Needletail) Rhaphidura leucopygialis

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“I saw a flock of 15-20 Silver-rumped Spinetail (Needletail) (Rhaphidura leucopygialis) foraging 10-15 meters above a river and primary forest in the early morning. The majority was in some stage of wing moult, often giving a ‘bat-like’ image against the grey skies.

SpinetailSR [AmarSingh] 1

“The number of ‘spines’ in the tail varied considerably due to the moult. The optimal number, from images of mature captive birds, is 10.

SpinetailSR [AmarSingh] 2

“HBW (source below) notes that ‘Especially active in evening. Not often seen with other species and rarely in groups of more than six birds, except in Borneo…’.

“The majority of my observations in Peninsular Malaysia, over the years, suggest that they are also active in the early morning and are often in flock of 10 birds or more.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
12th August 2017

Chantler, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2017). Silver-rumped Spinetail (Rhaphidura leucopygialis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: A trail along primary jungle

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