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 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 Flycatcher, Japanese 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: Scarce winter visitor and common passage migrant.

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.

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References:
BirdLife International. (2017). Terpsiphone affinis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
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.