Tan Gim Cheong photographed a white morph Asian Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi) at Singapore’s Japanese Garden on 30th September 2009. There was also an Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica) and a Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) in the garden. All three birds are winter visitors and passage migrants.
While others simply saw these migrants, Gim Cheong noticed that the Asian Paradise-flycatcher was diving into the water to get wet and then flying back to the perch to preen.
According to Coates et el. (2006), members of the Family Monarchidae (Monarch-Flycatchers) love to bathe during dry weather. They visit pools of water several times a day to bather as well as to drink. They plunge-dive several times into the water, each time to return to the perch to preen. In Smythies (1999) there is a specific mention of the Asian Paradise-flycatcher bathing half submerged in a forest stream, to return to its perch to preen.
Image by Tan Gim Cheong.
1. Coates, B. J., G. C. L. Dutson & C. E. Filardi, 2006. Family Monarchidae (Monarch-FlycatchersI). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & D. A. Christie (eds.). Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 11. Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp.244-329.
2. Smythies, B. E., 1999. Birds of Borneo. Natural History Publications & The Sabah Society, Kota Kinabalu. (4th ed., revised). 853 pp.
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