The Rufous-headed Tailorbird is one of the 10 tailorbirds ranging in the Philippines. The one featured here is a high elevation Mindanao endemic and can be seen singly, in pairs or sometimes in mixed flocks in montane forests above 800 meters. It was previously lumped with Mountain Tailorbird but some naturalists treat this heterolaemus race as a separate species based on the differences in plumage and bird calls from birds from Luzon and Palawan.
This individual was videoed in one of the country’s best birding spots: Mt. Kitanglad Range in Bukidnon, Mindanao, Southern Philippines.
Digiscoping note: Here is an example of a bird that is difficult to photograph using a digiscoping set-up. Firstly, this bird is very small, 4 1/2 inches from the tip of the beak to the end of the tail so getting it to fill the frame will be quite a challenge. Secondly, this tailorbird is very active and skittish and will not perch on a spot for very long so you’ll have to be quick in order to get usable shots. It is very difficult to get but it can be done with the right equipment, lots of patience and practice (and luck). It also pays to know the habit of the bird so you can somewhat predict where the bird will perch next. Happy digiscoping!
Rufous-headed Tailorbird, Orthotomus heterolaemus
September 2010, Mt. Kitanglad Range, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines