Mugimaki Flycatcher – first winter females

Four images of the two females Mugimaki Flycatcher (Ficedula mugimaki) I saw are shown in this post. I had many views and images of them to see the various details. They were generally paler than the first winter males and this was very obvious in the field. They lacked white at the outer base of the tail and had no clear pale supercilium. I think both of them were also first winter females using guidance from Wells 2007 who says that first winter birds “have pointed rather than, in adults, blunt tail-feather tips”. This can also be seen in the first winter males I posted yesterday.

Note on feeding behaviour:

Much of the feeding by all 5 birds was aerial sallies for flying insects; they will usually land at a different site from where they took off. I also saw them plucking insects from the under surface of leaves. In the past I have seen them land and pick insects off seeding bamboo. Regarding frugivory, in the past I have seen them feed on fruit Macaranga bancana and other unrecognised fruit. On this occasion I saw them feeding on the black seeds and orange stalks (arils) of the Acacia mangium trees (see this post for images of the fruit/arils and seed:

The image above shows a bird with an Acacia mangium seed in the beak. On two occasions I saw them struggling with the seeds and they had to regurgitated them out before swallowing them back (lots of throat movements). The technique used to feed on the Acacia mangium is a sallying out to an open pod and a fly-by lunge to grab the fruit; then a ‘drop’ to a branch to feed.

Mugimaki Flycatcher – 1st winter males

I saw 5 Mugimaki Flycatchers (Ficedula mugimaki) at the same location today. Three were first winter males and the other two females (no adult males). They were feeding on insects and fruit. One bird (first winter male) joined a mixed foraging party (bird wave) comprising Everett’s White-eyes, Ruby-cheeked Sunbirds, other Sunbirds and Flowerpeckers and Bulbuls.

As it was a dark morning I waited at the fringe of the forest reserve, opposite a rushing stream facing primary jungle for better light. It took 1.5 hours for the Mugimaki Flycatchers to get accustomed to my presence and come nearer.

Note some features:

  1. The white at the outer base of the tail (base of outer rectrices); this is not present in females of any age.
  2. Bills are more brown compared to black in adult males (also brown in adult females).
  3. Richer rufous chin and upper breast when compared to adult females.
  4. The supercilium or short post-ocular patch is more prominent in 1st winter males compare to adult females (my personal observation is that this can be seen if we observe the bird in the right posture and light).


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Follow 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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