Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher

Scientific Name: Terpsiphone affinis
Alternative Name: Oriental Paradise Flycatcher
Malay Name: Murai-Gading Biasa

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

Taxonomy:
Formerly included in Asian Paradise Flycatcher together with Amur Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone incei) and Indian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi). Subspecies include burmae, indochinensis, affinis, nicobarica, madzoedi, australis, borneensis, procera, insularis, sumbaensis, and floris.

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

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 the two paradise flycatcher species found in Singapore (Amur and Oriental) occur as a white as well as a brown morph. However, white birds (also rare in Singapore) with nearly all white plumage and glossy black head could not be conclusively identified.

Similar looking species: Amur Paradise Flycatcher, Japanese 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: 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.

Photos:

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