Fun Cambodian Tailorbird Facts For Kids

Rhea Nischal
May 11, 2023 By Rhea Nischal
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
Cambodian tailorbird facts to discover characteristics about its stunning appearance.

The Cambodian tailorbird, (scientific name: Orthotomus chaktomuk), is a bird species indigenous to Cambodia and is relatively a new species. In southeastern Cambodia, this tiny gray-colored tailorbird is confined to thick floodplain scrub but can be seen at both familiar and unexpected locations.

The male Cambodian tailorbird has a patchy black throat, and all sexes have an orange crown, with the males being significantly larger.

Their length lies in the range of 4.3–4.7 in (11–12 cm) and this tailorbird forages in thick vegetation at a low level. The diet of this bird consists of spiders, flies, grasshoppers, crickets, and caterpillars.

Their song is loud, lively, and variable and their calls are squeaky and nasal. Even though it existed on the outskirts of a big city, this species was able to go undetected for so long due to its thick lowland scrub habitat.

The Cambodian tailorbird is one of two bird species native to Cambodia, the other one being the Cambodian laughing thrush.

The Cambodian laughing thrush can be found only in Cambodia's southwestern part, in the Cardamom Mountains. This tailorbird species, the Cambodian tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk), was listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN's Red List due to the effects of habitat loss.

If you liked reading about the Cambodian tailorbird, you might also like our animal facts about the tanager and the great tit.

Cambodian Tailorbird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Cambodian tailorbird?

The Cambodian tailorbird, Orthotomus chaktomuk, is a species of omnivorous tailorbirds native to southern Cambodia. These birds have been recently discovered in the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, and are classified as Near Threatened in the IUCN's Red List.

What class of animal does a Cambodian tailorbird ​belong to?

The Cambodian tailorbird, Orthotomus chaktomuk, belongs to the class of Aves and is native to Cambodia. It is relatively a new species of bird and is one of only two birds native to Cambodia. The other bird is the Cambodian laughing thrush, which is confined to the Cardamom Mountains.

How many Cambodian tailorbirds are there in the world?

The population size of this bird species remains unknown but their population trend is sadly declining. However, more than 100 tailorbirds have been spotted in nine new locations since June 2012. Their range of occurrence is 4517 square miles (11,700 km2).

Where does a Cambodian tailorbird live?

This bird species was found in the city of Phnom Penh, rather than in the forests of Cambodia. However, despite this, this species of bird prefers not to reside in the city.

Instead, this bird lives on the outskirts of the city and can be spotted at both familiar and unexpected locations. This bird species thrives in the Mekong River and its tributaries and on the low-elevation, humid floodplains near it. Sadly, their habitat has been slowly diminishing due to ongoing urbanization.

What is a Cambodian tailorbird's habitat?

The Cambodian tailorbird, Orthotomus chaktomuk, lives in a small patch of dense lowland scrub on the Mekong River's floodplain. Despite existing on the outskirts of the major city of Phnom Penh, this bird was able to go unidentified for such a long time due to its thick shrub habitat.

The Cambodian tailor bird's discoverers requested that this bird species be classified as Near Endangered on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature as its habitat is dwindling due to rapid urbanization.

Who do Cambodian tailorbirds live with?

Cambodian tailorbirds forage and live alone but once they have found their mate, they live with them, breed, and raise their chicks together.

How long does a Cambodian tailorbird ​live?

This bird's lifespan is currently unknown.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding process of these birds is unclear, however, researchers have found that only males react actively during March and April to playback of vocalizations while females do not react, or only do so temporarily, implying that females are all in nests throughout this time.

What is their conservation status?

This bird species is listed as Near Threatened in the IUCN's Red List.

Cambodian Tailorbird Fun Facts

What do Cambodian tailorbirds look like?

The Cambodian tailorbird has a black throat and an orange-red crown whereas its body is gray-colored. The majority of its body is light and dark gray. It is 4.3–4.7 in (11–12 cm) in length and weighs in the range of 0.21–0.28 oz (6–8 g).

*Please note that this is an image of a common tailorbird, not a Cambodian tailorbird specifically. If you have a royalty-free image of a Cambodian tailorbird please let us know at 

How cute are they?

Cambodian tailorbirds are very cute considering their small-medium size. They have a black throat and a stunning orange-red crown.

How do they communicate?

The song of this bird species is lively and loud. The Cambodian tailorbird's calls are nasal and squeaky and these energetic birds make a variety of loud, long calls.

How big is a Cambodian tailorbird?

The Cambodian tailorbird, Orthotomus chaktomuk,  is about 4.3–4.7 in (11–12 cm) long and is 1/21th the size of the world's largest live bird.

How fast can a Cambodian tailorbird ​fly

The exact speed of the Cambodian tailorbird is not yet known considering it is a relatively new species and isn't researched enough. We know that they are moderately fast birds.

How much does a Cambodian tailorbird weigh?

The Cambodian tailorbird, Orthotomus chaktomuk, weighs anywhere in the range of 0.21–0.28 oz (6–8 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names of the Cambodian tailorbird, Orthotomus chaktomuk, based on gender.

What would you call a baby Cambodian tailorbird?

A Cambodian tailorbird's baby can be called a chick, a fledgling, or a hatchling.

What do they eat?

This bird species, the Cambodian tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk), is an insectivorous bird and prefers to eat spiders, flies, grasshoppers, crickets, and caterpillars. They look for food in pairs usually. Their predators are snakes, lizards, mongeese, and other predatory birds that rob their nests.

Are they friendly?

They are Passerine birds of the order  Passeriformes. Passerine birds are known to be chirpy and cheerful songbirds who are quite friendly with humans.

Would they make a good pet?

As this new species is stated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, this bird is not suitable to be kept as a pet.

Did you know...

The pattern of the toes in all Passerine birds is the same: three toes facing forward and one toe facing backward. This allows the bird to cling to horizontal as well as nearly vertical perches like tree trunks and branches.

How was the Cambodian tailorbird discovered?

The first sighting of the Cambodian tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk) was in January 2009  in the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Four tailorbirds were filmed as part of a standard avian flu check.

These birds were initially incorrectly identified as ashy tailorbirds, a closely related species. When it was discovered in January 2012, photographed at a construction site by Ashish John, scientists investigated further and discovered that the bird was a unique and unidentified species.

Why are they called tailorbirds?

The tailorbird species derive their name from the way they build their nests. The ends of a wide leaf are pierced and then sewn together with the help of plant fiber by the bird to create a cradle in which the grass nest is laid.

In addition, the bird's scientific name, chaktomuk, is an ancient Khmer word that means 'four-faced' which aptly represents the region where the Mekong, Bassa, and Tonle Sap rivers converge in Phnom Penh and is the area where this species of bird is observed.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the summer tanager, or birds of paradise.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Cambodian tailorbird coloring pages.

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Written by Rhea Nischal

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

Rhea Nischal picture

Rhea NischalBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.

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Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel

Bachelor of Business Management

Yashvee Patel picture

Yashvee PatelBachelor of Business Management

Yashvee has won awards for both her writing and badminton skills. She holds a business administration honors degree and has previously interned with social media clients and worked on content for an international student festival. Yashvee has excelled in academic competitions, ranking in the top 100 in the Unified International English Olympiad and placing second in an essay-writing competition. Additionally, she has won the inter-school singles badminton title for two consecutive years.

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