Bird Families

Slate Paradise Flycatcher / Terpsiphone atrochalybeia


Paradise flycatchers are rather large birds in comparison with related species. Body length is 19 - 24 centimeters, wings - 8.6 - 9.2 cm. Weight reaches 18 - 23 grams.

The plumage is colorful. The head and neck of the male are black with a bluish metallic tint. The eyes are surrounded by a bright blue rim. A pointed crest of feathers of the same black color. The upper part of the body, tail and upper tail are bright red.

Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi).

Males are given a special look by beautiful long tail feathers 24 - 30 centimeters long, which grow back only in the second year. Especially long two feathers in the middle of the tail. The underside of the body is white. The front wing feathers are white, with black shafts. The plumage is reddish under the wings.

The beak is wide, powerful, with a blue tint, crocheted. The short legs of the paradise flycatcher are bluish-gray in color. After the first molt, a crest grows in them, and after the second change of feathers, the male acquires the color of the plumage of an adult bird.

Young males in plumage color are similar to females, but differ in black feathers on the neck and blue edging of the eyes. A fully adult outfit in males acquires a characteristic color in the third year of life. Females of the paradise flycatcher also have a noticeable plumage color, but not as bright as that of males. All plumage is reddish-brown, lower body with gray bloom, gray throat. The head is black.The tail is short.

A young male with black feathers on the neck and blue edging of the eyes.

The spread of the paradise flycatcher

The paradise flycatcher is found in the west of the Primorsky Territory of Russia. In the western regions of the Primorsky Territory, it spreads along the Razdolnaya River, on the Khanka lowland. Occurs in the lower and middle reaches of the rivers Chernigovka, Spasovka, Bolshaya Ussurka. In the Khabarovsk Territory, it nests on the right bank of the Ussuri River, in the spurs of the Khekhtsir ridge. Outside Russia - in South and Southeast Asia.

It spreads over a vast territory from Turkestan to India. It lives in northern and eastern China, and also inhabits the southern regions of Asia up to the Indonesian archipelago. Lives on the islands of Alor and Sumba.

The habitat of the paradise flycatcher

Paradise flycatchers in the Primorsky Territory are found in forests, inhabits thickets of bushes along river valleys and on the slopes of nearby hills.

They live in floodplain forests with thickets of willow, bird cherry, alder, maple.

It often keeps in linden-oak forests, not far from agricultural crops. In these biotopes, birds keep in dense tree plantations along the shores of lakes, small rivers, and streams.

On the right bank of the Ussuri River, it inhabits forests with shrubs - lespedets and hazel, growing along the gentle slopes of hills. Occurs in swampy meadows, pastures, fields. Inhabits old gardens and groves.

Paradise flycatchers feed on insects.

Paradise Flycatcher Feeding

Paradise flycatchers feed on insects and their larvae, mainly lepidoptera, dipterans, less often - cicadas, dragonflies, orthoptera.

Features of the behavior of the paradise flycatcher

Paradise flycatchers overtake their prey in flight, flying low above the ground at a height of 1-2 meters. They rarely feed in dense foliage of trees. They prefer to stay close to a reservoir where many insects live. The birds not only drink water, but also bathe, then clean and straighten their feathers while sitting on the branches. On a branch they sit straight, in plain sight, taking a place with a good view. Paradise flycatchers are quite noisy and noisy birds.

Reproduction of the paradise flycatcher

The breeding season for the paradise flycatcher begins in early spring. Males appear first in nesting places, then females arrive. This bird species is monogamous.

It takes the birds about one week to build their cone-shaped nest.

A pair of birds protects the nesting site and drives competitors to their chosen place. In the southern regions, paradise flycatchers most often nest near a pair of drongos, which scare away predators with their presence.

The nest is located in the forks of branches of trees and bushes at a height of up to 2 meters.

The nest has a cone shape and is formed by dry blades of grass, thin stems, moss and small leaves. The lining is composed of plant soft fibers.

In a clutch there are three - five eggs covered with a shell of a pale pink hue. The eggs are incubated by the female and the male alternately. Incubation lasts 12-13 days. Adult birds feed offspring for 2 weeks. Soon the grown chicks leave the nest.

Parents lure them out with loud shouts, making circles around the nest. The first chick flies out of the nest and joins the flight of adult birds, followed by the rest.

For several more days, the family of paradise flycatchers stays together in the dense crowns of trees.In the second half of September, paradise flycatchers migrate to the southern parts of the range. Paradise Flycatchers form pairs at the age of 2 years. In summer nesting places are inhabited by groups of flycatchers without offspring.

For some time, the female and the male supplement their offspring.

Reasons for the decrease in the number of paradise flycatchers

The number of paradise flycatchers is unknown, but the number of individuals is decreasing everywhere. The main reasons are the burning out of forest areas as a result of forest fires, deforestation of floodplain forests, and uprooting of trees and shrubs. The habitat of the species in some areas has completely changed and transformed into agricultural crops, occupied by pastures. Reproduction of birds is influenced by the disturbance factor; disturbed paradise flycatchers can leave the nest with laid eggs.

Paradise Flycatcher Protection

The paradise flycatcher is recorded in the Berne Convention (Appendix I). This bird species is protected in the Bolshekhekhtsirsky and Khankaisky reserves in Russia. Conservation status - category 3. Preservation of the paradise flycatcher habitat contributes to the restoration of the species population.

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