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Nesting of Asian Paradise Flycatcher

on 6th September 2006

The Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi) is an impressive bird, especially the male morph whose long tail can reach more than 27 cm long. As the bird flies it’s long white tail dangles and sways suggestively like a butterfly fluttering about. The bird winters in tropical Asia and is seen in Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia as a passage migrant.

Tan Swee Nam had an exciting encounter with a pair of nesting birds in Taman Negara, Malaysia on 7th June 2006 and brought back the two images shown here. He arrived just a few days too late to see the male flycatcher replenish with his long white tail. A Malaysian birder saw the birds feeding the chicks on 29th May, probably hatched about two days earlier. The male still had its long tail when he left in 3rd June.

The chicks fledged on 9th June at 11 am, about 13 days after hatching.

This species is usually found in forested areas. Three or four eggs are laid in a neat cup-shaped nest, usually lined with hairs and decorated with mosses and liverworts. The male starts life with rufous plumage that develops white feathers by the second year. By the third year the plumage is completely white, other than the black head. The female resmbles the rufous male, but has a grey throat, smaller crest and lacks the tail streamers.

Thanks Swee Nam for the imput and images.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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