Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher

Scientific Name: Terpsiphone affinis
Alternative Name: Oriental Paradise Flycatcher
Malay Name: Murai-Gading Biasa
Chinese Name: 中南寿带

Found from Southern China, mainland Southeast Asia to the Indonesian archipelago. Northern birds winter to Malay Peninsula, Singapore and parts of Indonesia.

Polytypic. Subspecies are: saturatior, nicobarica, burmae, indochinensis, affinis, procera, insularis, borneensis

Local Subspecies: Only the migratory indochinensis is confirmed to occur in Singapore while affinis (a resident breeder of Peninsula Malaysia) is believed to be extirpated in Singapore with no mid-summer records dated later than June 1990.

Size: 20-22 cm

For female and first-winter/sub-adult birds, bright rufous-chestnut upperparts and tail, head, throat and breast slaty-grey, crown black and crested. Between the two subspecies, grey hind-collar prominent in indochinensis versus usually incomplete in affinis. The tail of adult males can extend up to 27 cm or more but is rarely seen in Singapore. Adult males of the three paradise flycatcher species found in Singapore (Amur, Blyth’s and Indian) occur as a white as well as a brown morph. However, white birds (rare in Singapore) with nearly all white plumage and glossy black head could not be conclusively identified as either Amur or Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher.

Similar looking species: Amur Paradise FlycatcherIndian Paradise FlycatcherJapanese Paradise Flycatcher

Habitat: Any wooded habitat ranging from broadleaved evergreen forest to secondary growth, mangroves, parks, gardens and offshore islands.

Feed on a variety of insects taken in sallies from a perch or snatched as they flush. Usually forage high up the canopy.

Local Status: Scarce winter visitor and common passage migrant.

Location: Suitable wooded areas like Central Catchment Forest, Bidadari, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Japanese/Chinese Gardens, Neo Tiew Lane 2, Sungei Buloh, Tuas South, Lorong Halus, Pulau Ubin and Pulau Hantu.



Craig Robson (2011) A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia
David Wells (2007) The Birds of Thai-Malay Peninsula, Volume 2