Amidst the lush greenery of the Siberian forests, there roams a creature of unparalleled beauty and mystery – the Siberian Rubythroat. With a brilliant crimson throat that shimmers like the finest ruby, this bird is a sight to behold, a jewel of the wilderness.
As it flits among the leaves and branches, its melodious song echoes through the trees, filling the air with a symphony of pure joy.
|Common Name||Siberian Rubythroat|
|Scientific Name||Calliope calliope|
|Colour (s)||Brown, red, and white|
|Average Length||12 – 14 cm|
|Average Height||7 – 8 cm|
|Weight||8 – 12 g|
|Type of Bird||Forest|
|Origin country (ies)||Breeds in Siberia and Northern China|
|Month it comes to India||September – November|
|Location in India||Northeast and North India|
|IUCN status||Least Concern|
The Siberian Rubythroat is a small, colorful bird that inhabits the forests and scrublands of northern and eastern Asia. It is renowned for its striking appearance, with a bright red throat that contrasts sharply with its brownish-grey body.
On average, Siberian Rubythroats are around 12 centimeters (4.7 inches) long and weigh between 8 and 14 grams (0.3-0.5 ounces). Their wingspan is typically around 20 centimeters (7.9 inches).
Despite their small size, Siberian Rubythroats are surprisingly fast and agile, darting through the undergrowth with impressive speed and precision. They are also known for their melodious song, which is often compared to the sound of a flute.
In addition to their vibrant red throats, Siberian Rubythroats have a number of other distinguishing features. They have short, rounded wings and a relatively long tail, which they often flick as they move. Their eyes are large and dark, and they have a distinctive white ring around each eye. The rest of their body is typically a muted brownish-grey color, with dark streaks on their breast and flanks.
Habitat and Food
In its breeding range, the Siberian Rubythroat can be found in a variety of habitats, including taiga, shrubland, and meadows near water bodies such as lakes and rivers. It prefers areas with dense vegetation, such as thickets and shrubs, where it can hide and forage for food.
The Siberian Rubythroat is an insectivorous bird, feeding on a wide range of small invertebrates, including insects, spiders, and snails. During the breeding season, it also feeds on fruits and berries, which provide important nutrients for both the adults and their offspring.
The Siberian Rubythroat is a small passerine bird that breeds in northern Asia, including Russia, Mongolia, and China. During the winter months, they undertake a remarkable migration to the Indian subcontinent, where they can be found in several states and geographic regions.
Siberian Rubythroats generally begin their migration in August or September, depending on their breeding location. They travel along the Himalayan mountain range, crossing over into India through the northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. From there, they move southward, often stopping at various wetland habitats along the way to feed and rest.
In India, Siberian Rubythroats can be found in several states, including West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura. They are particularly common in wetland areas such as marshes, swamps, and rice paddies, where they can find an abundance of insects and other invertebrates.
The primary purpose of their migration to India is to overwinter, or spend the colder months in a more hospitable climate with access to food and shelter. Some individuals may also use their time in India for breeding, but this is not as common as in their breeding grounds in Asia.
Siberian Rubythroats generally begin their return migration to their breeding grounds in April or May, depending on the individual and weather conditions. They travel back along the same Himalayan route, and sightings of them in India taper off by the end of May.
The IUCN Red List categorizes the Siberian Rubythroat as a species of “Least Concern”. This is due to the bird’s large global range and relatively stable population, estimated to be between 1.7 and 6.6 million individuals.
However, like many migratory birds, the Siberian Rubythroat faces a range of threats throughout its range, including habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation. The conversion of natural habitats for agriculture, mining, and urbanization has led to the loss of critical breeding and wintering grounds for these birds.
Additionally, the Siberian Rubythroat is sometimes targeted for the illegal pet trade, particularly in Southeast Asia. This, combined with hunting and trapping for food, has led to localized declines in some populations.