Astonishing Feathered Gem: Get Acquainted with the Spectacular Bird Boasting a Mesmerizing Blend of Flashy Coloring

A spectacular combination of flashy colors and patterns scattered across its brownish body produces a brightly-colored social bird that is a frequent attendant of mixed-species flocks.

The Chestnut-tailed Minla

“Chestnut-tailed Minla – Bhutan_S4E0037” by fveronesi1 (cropped) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The chestnut-tailed minla (Actinodura strigula) is a small grey-brown bird with mostly grey upperparts. The primary upperwing coverts are black, contrasting with orange-yellow flight feathers edges and broadly whitish-edged tertials. The tail is brownish-chestnut and black, with broad white outer tips, and a yellow fringe. The chin and underparts are yellowish while the throat is whitish with narrow wavy black bars. The crown is yellowish to rufous with lores and ear coverts a blackish washed yellow. There is a black submoustachial stripe extending under the ear-coverts. The bill is dark brown and pointed with a pale lower mandible. The eyes are brown to reddish, surrounded by pale yellow eye-ring. His legs and feet are grey.

“File:Minla strigula – Doi Inthanon.jpg” by JJ Harrison ( is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Both sexes look very similar, while the juvenile has greyer upperparts than adults and paler and duller underparts.

The black throat bars are narrower and less distinct.

“File:Chestnut-tailed Minla.jpg” by Sp.herp is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

This species may occur from 1800 up to 3700 meters of elevation, lower during harsh winters from India down into Malaysia.

Photo Courtesy of Dibyendu Ash / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Chestnut-throated Minla frequents several types of evergreen forests such as oak, mixed deciduous-conifer forest, sometimes pine forest, or mixed pine-rhododendron forests. It will also frequent open forests of birch or willow, bushes and scrub areas, and low bushes.

“File:Chestnut-tailed Minla Thailand.jpg” by Jason Thompson is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

An arboreal species this bird feeds on insects and caterpillars, berries and seeds, and also nectar from rhododendron flowers. It feeds exclusively on insects during summer.

“File:Chestnut-tailed Minla I IMG 7044.jpg” by J.M.Garg is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

The breeding season for the Chestnut-throated minla occurs from March to August. During this time a nest is placed between 1, 50 to 3 meters above the ground in the bush or small tree. It is a neat cup-shaped nest made with grass, bamboo leaves, roots, birch bark, and lichens. It is lined with hair, rootlets, pine needles, and fern stalks. Within the female lays 2-4 pale blue, deep blue, or turquoise eggs with fine black, pale red, or brown markings. Apart from that, there is no more available information.

“File:Chrysominla strigula, bar-throated minla – Doi Inthanon National Park (16986368827).jpg” by Rushen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Chestnut-throated Minla is common in most parts of the range and this species is not currently threatened.

“File:Actinodura strigula – Doi Inthanon.jpg” by JJ Harrison ( (cropped) is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

You can watch this bird right here in the video below: