Nilgiri Blue Robin
The Nilgiri blue robin (Sholicola major), also known as Nilgiri shortwing, white-bellied shortwing, Nilgiri sholakili or rufous-bellied shortwing is a species of passerine bird in the family Muscicapidae endemic to the Shola forests of the higher hills of southern India, mainly north of the Palghat Gap. This small bird is found on the forest floor and undergrowth of dense forest patches sheltered in the valleys of montane grassland, a restricted and threatened habitat.
The white-bellied blue robin was formerly considered conspecific with this species but in 2005 the two taxa were split by Pamela C. Rasmussen, a treatment that is followed by some authorities. Their genus remained uncertain until a 2017 molecular phylogenetic study found that these two south Indian species formed a sister group to a clade containing the genera Eumyias, Niltava and Cyornis. A new genus Sholicola was therefore erected for these two species.
This chat-like bird is long-legged and appears chunky with its short tail and wing. Although sharing similar habits and shape, the two species differ in plumage and both may show slight sexual dimorphism. Females may differ from males in iris colour at least in S. albiventris.
The Nilgiri blue robin (S. major) has the lores black and the upperside, the throat, breast are dark slaty blue but the lower plumage is rufous. The centre of the belly is buffy white. The brow is not as well-marked as in the other species and is diffuse bluish.