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Perching Asian Paradise-flycatcher

on 30th November 2009

Dr Jeff Lim sent in a short video of a female Asian Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi) perching on a branch. The male was nearby. The video was recorded during the migratory season in October. The video shows the female winter visitor spending some time simply perching on the branch. But she was very alert to the surroundings. Her head was moving from left to right and back (above left and centre). At times the head even pointed backwards (above right).

The ability of birds to turn their heads 180º in either direction is unique among vertebrates. This enables them to look backwards without moving the body and thus to stay ever alert.

Into the middle of the video, the bird suddenly cocked her crest (above left and centre) and straightened up, with her greyish chest momentarily lighting up like a little light bulb (above right).

The video can be viewed HERE.

The above images are video grabs from Dr Jeff Lim’s video.

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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