Asian Paradise-flycatcher – Calls

on 30th September 2017

Asian Paradise-flycatcher-3aa-Kubah National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia-12th September 2017

“Saw a male Asian/Oriental Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi borneensis) white morph, which is more common seen in the region according to Davison (1999). It lacked the long streamers, 2 long tail feathers, and this might indicate it is a young bird (above).

Asian Paradise-flycatcher-1a-Kubah National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia-12th September 2017

“It was still early at 7.00am but we could appreciate the lovely ‘fleshy’, bright cobalt-blue eyelids. The head is often described as ‘glossy black’, but as you can see, from the low light images at high ISO, that there is metallic blue to the black; seen this in many images taken by other bird watchers. Likes to fan the tail (above).

Asian Paradise-flycatcher-5aa-Kubah National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia-12th September 2017

“It was not making the conventional calls but this very loud thrill which was heard clearly as the bird was very close (above). It was a rapid sequence lasting a mere 1.7-1.8 seconds and occasionally repeated. An answering call in the distance was noted. It appears on casual listening to be a continual series of 24-26 notes/calls of a ‘pi, pi, pi, pi …’

Asian Paradise-flycatcher-calls 3

“But if you look carefully at the waveform (better than the sonogram here), the calls are in pairs – two notes closer together followed by a micro-pause and then another two notes (above). Hence a series of 12-13 notes at each episode.

“I managed some recording and offer one above; it is very brief and needs to be re-played. Davison (1999) describes them as ‘a sweet, loud, rapid series of up to a dozen rich, harmonious whistles.’ Frank Lambert has a similar recording of calls, from the same forest reserve, which he labels as ‘male song’. See: HERE.

“More recording of such call scan be found at Borneo Bird Images: HERE
Note: I have used ‘Terpsiphone paradisi borneensis‘ after some reading and checking sources but some authorities use ‘Terpsiphone affinis borneensis‘ (see HBW, Avibase). These sources also use Oriental or Blyth’s Paradise-flycatcher.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
12th September 2017

Location: Kubah National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia
Habitat: Trail through primary forest

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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