The magical Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)   2 comments

The magical Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)

Today, the first day of the Hindu New Year, yielded this magical bird. I decided to head 60 KM to the north to a place called Nandi Hills in search of some colourful thrushes and flycatchers. It was drizzling lightly when I left home. Conventional wisdom indicated a poor day of birding and my heart sank when I reached the bottom of Nandi hills. The top was covered with thick fog. To be honest, it looked beautiful but not from a birder’s lense 🙂

As I ascended the mountain, it started drizzling again and added to my misery. Nandi hills is at an elevation of around 1480 meters above mean sea level. So while Bangalore is quite pleasant these days, Nandi hills, today early in the morning, was distinctly chilly.

I braved on and as they say fortune did indeed favour the brave. I got my reward in the form of this beauty. The sun eventually did come up but kept playing hide and seek with the clouds and was sometimes bright enough to enable some bird photography.

Asian paradise flycatchers are insectivores and are primarily found in Asia. Their long tail gives them the out of this world appearance but also plays an important role in helping them catch their preys in the air. These birds are also poly-morphous – the males have either a rufous body with a black head or a white body with a black head. Both morphs exist in the same geographic regions. The females have short tails and have a rufous body. The two central feathers of the males can grow upto 30 cm and its always a challenge to get the whole body of this bird in one frame. I got another picture where, I did manage to catch the whole bird in a frame but given the interplay of light and darkness that was on at Nandi hills today, that picture unfortunately is too dark to be posted. For me this bird was a lifer as I had only encountered the rufous coloured males in the past.

2 responses to “The magical Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)

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  1. beautiful bird! worth the trip 😀

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