Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus)


It is the sole member of the genus Hypocolius and there is only one type of bird species in this family. The gray hypocolius is found in the Middle East. It breeds in Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan and it winters around the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the coasts of Saudi Arabia.

It lives in brush and scrub areas. It has a long tail and a small bill. Females are all gray. Males are gray with a black mask around their eyes, black edges to their wings, and a black-tipped tail. The gray hypocolius eats berries and insects. It is found in woodland and scrub in arid and semiarid regions, especially river valleys near deserts, as well as in irrigated and cultivated areas with trees, such as palm groves and gardens. They fly in flocks and forage mainly on fruits, migrating south in winter.

The Grey hypocolius is a slim bird with a long tail, slight crest, and thick, short hook-tipped bill. Its shape and soft, satiny plumage resemble that of the waxwing. Birds are mainly a uniform grey or brownish-grey color, with males having a black triangular mask around the eyes. They have white-tipped black primary wing feathers and a black terminal band on the tail. The head feathers are raised when the bird is excited. They fly in a straight non-undulating style and when hopping in the shrubbery, can appear like a babbler. The tarsus is short and sturdy with coarse scales.

Generally, they are abundant in summer, some birds may spend the winter in Khuzestan Province. In late spring they migrate to an area called Band-Ali-Khan near Tehran, and according to various reports, this species breeds in Band-Ali-Khan, and can be seen near Tehran by the end of summer.