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African Paradise-Flycatcher

From Opus

MalePhoto by d.flackDurban Botanical Gardens, South Africa, September 2004
Photo by d.flack
Durban Botanical Gardens, South Africa, September 2004
Terpsiphone viridis


[edit] Identification

Rufous MorphPhoto by rudydbnFarutso Forest Gambia, Africa, March, 2018
Rufous Morph
Photo by rudydbn
Farutso Forest Gambia, Africa, March, 2018

18 cm (7 in) with 10-18 cm (4-7 in) long tail streamers.
Male - black head, neck and underparts, chestnut wings and tail, white wingbar.
Female - browner tint to the underparts, no wingbar and no tail streamers.
Young birds are similar to the female but duller.

The male African Paradise Flycatcher comes in two distinct forms a rufous morph and a white morph. They may even change colour from rufous to white and can sometimes be seen part way through the change with a mixture of white and rufous feathers. The dark head and blue eye are common to both forms. The female always retains the rufous colouring.

African Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis) is closely related to Black-headed Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone rufiventer) , and hybrids occur with the underparts a mixture of black and red.

[edit] Distribution

Widespread throughout Africa (south of the Sahara Desert) and the Middle East
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Swaziland
Middle East: Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

FemalePhoto by Steve GMandina Lodges, Makasutu, The Gambia, March 2005
Photo by Steve G
Mandina Lodges, Makasutu, The Gambia, March 2005
White Morph, young male Photo by Steve GArabuko-Sokoke forest, coastal Kenya, August 2007
White Morph, young male
Photo by Steve G
Arabuko-Sokoke forest, coastal Kenya, August 2007

There are 10 subspecies.[1]

  • T. v. viridis:
  • T. v. speciosa:
  • T. v. ferreti:
  • T. v. restricta:
  • T. v. kivuensis:
  • T. v. suahelica:
  • T. v. ungujaensis:
  • T. v. plumbeiceps:
  • T. v. granti:
  • Natal to south-western Cape Province; winters to southern Tanzania
  • T. v. harterti:

[edit] Habitat

Evergreen, coastal and riverine forests.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

The clutch consists of 2-3 eggs which are laid in a tiny cup nest in a tree.

[edit] Diet

The diet consists of insects, including eggs and larvae, spiders; they also eat some small berries.

[edit] Gallery

Click on photo for larger image

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2016)
  4. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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