Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher

Scientific Name: Terpsiphone affinis

Malay Name: Murai-Gading Biasa

Chinese Name: 中南寿带

Alternative Name(s): Oriental Paradise Flycatcher

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

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

Local Subspecies: indochinensis

Size: 20-22 cm

Identification: 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 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 cannot be conclusively identified as either Amur or Blyth's Paradise Flycatcher.

Similar looking species: Amur Paradise Flycatcher, Black Paradise Flycatcher, Indian Paradise Flycatcher

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

Behaviour/Ecology: 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: Uncommon migrant and rare visitor

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2017)

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.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Blyth's Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone affinis
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Oct 15-Oct 21
Early date 05 Jul 2018
Late date 16 Jun 1990
Generally seems to arrive earlier than Amur Paradise Flycatcher, but possibly in smaller numbers. Most birds are observed during passage from Aug-Nov.

References:

BirdLife International. (2017). Terpsiphone affinis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T103716095A119718749.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

Wells, D. R. (1999). The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula (Vol. 1). Academic Press, London.

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