Tim Melling – White-crowned Forktail

Tim writes: Forktails are a small family of seven species that inhabit mountain streams in Southeast Asia.  They are in the Old World Flycatcher family (Muscicapidae).  The White-crowned Forktail (Enicurus leschenaulti) is the largest of the family at 28cm and it is familiar to many birdwatchers as the logo of the Oriental Bird Club.  They are quite shy and difficult to photograph so I was pleased to capture a close photograph of one singing.  The white crown is not particularly obvious in this individual as it blends in with the pale rock behind.  The name forktail obviously comes from the huge fork in the tail, but the odd thing is the generic name Enicurus means “singular tailed”.  I photographed this one by a forested mountain stream at Tangjiahe in Sichuan, China.

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