Paradise Flycatchers

Red-bellied Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone rufiventer) - Adult feeding hungry chick

Asian Paradise Flycatchers - Male and Female

OverviewAlternate (Global) Names

Distribution / Habitat

DescriptionCalls / Vocalizations

Breeding / NestingDiet / Feeding


Subspecies and Ranges:

  • Asian Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi paradisi – Linnaeus, 1758)
    • Range: Breeding populations occur in central and southern India, central Bangladesh and south-western Myanmar. Some travel to Sri Lanka for the winter.ID: Males have very long streamers and crests. A white phase birds have also been reported. They have larger bills.
  • Asian Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi sumbaensis – A. B. Meyer, 1894
    • Range: Sumba Island, part of Lesser Sundas
  • East Himalayan Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi saturatior – Salomonsen, 1933)
    • Their breeding range stretches from eastern Nepal east to northeastern India, eastern Bangladesh and northern Myanmar. Those occurring in Malaysia migrate north for the breeding season. Non-breeding birds are also found on the Thai-Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia.ID: Shorter crest with black shaft streaks on the upperparts of the white-phase (morph) male. The rufous-phase male is buffier below, has a rufous vent and shorter tail-streamers.

Red-bellied Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone rufiventer) - Adult feeding hungry chick

  • Asian Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi incei – Gould, 1852)
    • Range: Breed in central, eastern and northeastern China, Russian Far East (southern Ussuriland) and northern Korea. Wintering / non-breeding birds occur mostly in southeastern Asia.
  • West Himalayan Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi leucogaster – Swainson, 1838)
    • Range: Breeding populations are found in western Tien Shan south to northern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, northwestern and north-central India as well as western and central Nepal. Non-breeding birds winter in eastern Pakistan and peninsular India, and migrate towards the foothills of the Himalayas for breeding.ID: Pale rufous upperparts, white chest, and a lot of black on the white wings.
  • Asian Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi ceylonensis – Zarudny and Härms, 1912)
    • Range: Sri Lanka off the southern coast of India, South Asia.ID: Males have very long streamers and crests.
      • [Terpsiphone paradisi myanmare] – Usually not recognized
  • Asian Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi indochinensis – Salomonsen, 1933)
    • Range: Eastern Myanmar and southern Yunnan in the south of China. The migration route takes them through Thailand and Indochina to Malaysia, Sumatra and adjacent slands.
  • Asian Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi affinis – Blyth, 1846)
    • Range: Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra – the westernmost of the Sunda Islands.
      • [Terpsiphone paradisi madzoed] – Proposed race from northern Sumatra) – usually included within ssp. affinis.
      • [Terpsiphone paradisi australis] – Proposed race from southern Sumatra – usually included within ssp. affinis.
  • Asian Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi nicobarica – Oates, 1890)
    • Range: Central Nicobar Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean.ID: The plumage below is darker and the upper mantle is olive.
  • Asian Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi borneensis – E. J. O. Hartert, 1916)
    • Range: Borneo island north of Java, Indonesia.
  • Asian Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi procera – Richmond, 1903)
    • Range: Simeulue Island northwest off the coast of Sumatra.
  • Asian Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi insularis – Salvadori, 1887)
    • Range: Nias Island off the western coast of Sumatra.
  • Asian Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi floris – Büttikofer, 1894)
    • Range: Islands of Sumbawa, Flores, Lomblen and Alor (Lesser Sundas).
  • Asian Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi burmae – Salomonsen, 1933)
    • Range: Central Myanmar (Burma) in Southeast Asia.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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