Brachypteryx montana males are typically a uniform dull, dark blue with prominent white supercilia on the forehead. However, plumage color can vary in darkness and color varying from dark blue to a gray blue color. In some species, males have semi-concealed white supercilia. Brachypteryx montana females have plumage consisting of dark brown upperparts and diagnostic bright ferruginous forehead and slight supercilium. Like the males, females plumage color can vary from dark brown to a rusty gray red color. Both immature males and females have brown plumage with a combination of rusty red and dark blueblack spots and have less prominent supercilium. Brachypteryx montana has defining long legs, short wings and tail, and a medium small body. White-Browed Shortwing’s legs, feet, and bill are dark black; the eyes are a dark brown.
Brachypteryx montana poligyna Ogilvie Grant, 1895: Male- upperparts dark blue; eyebrow strip white; lores black; underparts dark blue shading to gray on lower belly. Female—similar to male but with a dark chestnut head and neck; throat paler chestnut, soft parts: Bill black; iris dark brown; feet black Measurements: wing 66; tail 47; bill 14; tarsus 29; Range: Northern and central Luzon and Mindoro (endemic)
Brachypteryx montana sillimani Ripley and Rabor, 1962: Differs from B.m. poligyna by having the blue of the upper and underparts much brighter and by having a longer bill; range: Palawan; Endemic
Brachypteryx montana andersoni Rand and Rabor, 1967: Female- differs from B.m. poliogyna by having the crown darker brown, belly darker gray, and under tail-coverts slate colored; range: southern Luzon (endemic)
Brachypteryx montana mindanensis Mearns, 1905: Differs from B.m. brunneiceps by being larger (wing 70, tail 62); Range: Mt. Apo, Mindanao (endemic)
Brachypteryx montana malindagensis Mearns, 1909: Differs from B.m.mindanensis by having upperparts much darker and the white eyebrows reduced; Range: Mt. Malindang, Mindanao (Endemic)
Brachypteryx montana brunneiceps Ogilvie Grant, 1896: Male- differs from B.m. poliogyna by having the top of head and throat blue black. Female- underparts darker, also smaller (wing female: 64 and tail 44; Range: Negros (endemic)
Brachypteryx montana crualis Blyth, 1843: Differs from the diagnostic description in that plumage is darker from chin to breast, then shading greyer along the belly with longer supercilium; Range: central and eastern Himalaas, Myanmar, south and south central china, northwest Thailand and mountainous regions of western indonesia.
Brachypteryx montana sinensis Rickett and La Touce, 1897: similar to B.m curalis but males are a dull pale blue gray from chin to breast shading to a whitish gray, with narrow white edge of carpals, females with more rufescent wings and no chestnut color on face; Range: southeastern China
Brachypteryx montana goodfellowi Ogilvie-Grant, 1912: Male is olive-brown above, slightly rustier on forehead and rump, with long supercilium, paler below, whitish on mid-belly, bill black and much longer than in other races, legs brown, female similar but with slightly weaker supercilium; Range: mountains of Taiwan
Brachypteryx montana saturata Salvador, 1879: is like the diagnostic description but breast is darker in both sexes; Range: Sumatra
Brachypteryx montana erythrogyna Sharpe, 1888: males resemble the diagnostic description, females like male on mantle and scapulars, with olive-brown crown, rufous-chestnut face and underparts and blackish-chestnut tail; Range: Northern Borneo
Brachypteryx montana montana Horsfield, 1821: both males and females resemble diagnostic description; Range: Java
Brachypteryx montana floris Hartert, 1897: male is similar to the diagnostic description but paler blue above, reddish-brown wings, face dark ashy-brown, underparts ashy with whitish throat and mid-abdomen, darker grey flanks, female olive-brown on crown becoming rufous-brown from mantle to back and foxy chestnut on lower back, rump and outer wings plainer brown, white below, buff-brown cheeks, grayish breast and grey-based buff brown flanks; Range: Flores (Lesser Sundas)
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