This species appears short-winged and short-tailed. In all plumages, note the rufous base to the blackish tail, visible in flight and when the bird flicks its tail when foraging. Adult Male: Upperparts are dull gray-brown. A bold whitish supercilium is thinly bordered above by black. The throat and upper breast are bright blue, with a rufous spot at the base of the throat. Below the blue, the breast has bands of black, white, and rufous. During winter, white feather edges obscure much of this coloration. The remainder of the underparts are dull whitish. Female: Upperparts like male. Underparts whitish with black lateral throat stripe and necklace of black streaks across upper breast. Some females show flecks of blue and rufous on the throat and upper breast. Juvenile: Similar to adult, but with slightly darker underparts with richer buff on the sides. Upperparts show cinnamon-buff spots and feather edges.
Length: 14 (cm) Wingspan: 23 (cm)
Dense willow thickets.
Often difficult to see in dense cover. Males will sing from exposed perches.
Forages for insects on or near the ground.
Expanded Life History
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