a comprehensive resource of avian hand rearing techniques for captive bird populations

Rufous-bellied Niltava

Niltava sundara

Passeriformes - Muscicapidae - Thrushes, warblers & flycatchers

Rufous-bellied Niltava - Adult male

© Andrew Owen

Rufous-bellied Niltava - Adult maleRufous-bellied Niltava - Adult femaleRufous-bellied Niltava - Chick

Distribution: A common resident in its natural range from the Himalayas in the west to southern China in the east.

Habitat: Subtropical or tropical moist lowland and montane forests.

Diet: Mostly insects and fruit.

Breeding: Breed between May and July building a cup-shaped nest, usually low down in thick vegetation.

Clutch size: 3-4 eggs.

Incubation: 14 days (incubation by hen only).

Rearing: Chicks hatch naked and eyes closed. Both parents feed the chicks (predominantly on insects).

Fledge age: 14 days.


Protocol from Waddesdon Manor

View Waddesdon Manor protocol file >

Protocol established 2006
Used on 8 individuals
Success rate 100.00%


Protocol used for at least 5 individuals with over 75% success*
Used by 2 or more institutions 
Points on minimizing imprinting 
Birds went on to produce fertile eggs*
Birds went on to successfully parent rear 

Warning points
Vitamins A&E (in ACE High) are important as this species is predisposed to eye problems linked to the lack of these vitamins.

Keeper contact is kept to a minimum at all times to avoid imprinting.

Please keep us up-to-date and contact us with your own updates or new protocols for rearing the Rufous-bellied Niltava.

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