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Rufous-vented Paradise-Flycatcher - BirdForum Opus

Photo by the late Jan Van den Broeck
Kinshasa area, DR Congo, October 2012
Terpsiphone rufocinerea


18 cm (excluding tail).

  • Glossy blue-black head with slight crest
  • Chestnut-rufous (sometimes orange-rufous) upperparts and tail
  • Dark greyish-blue underparts
  • Rufous vent and undertail-coverts
  • Elongated central tail feathers

Females are duller, have glossy blue-back only from forehead to nape, a shorter crest and paler underparts.

Similar species

Distinguished from African Paradise-Flycatcher by rufous undertail-coverts.


Central Africa: From southwestern Cameroon south to western Gabon, southern Republic of Congo, southwest DR Congo and northwest Angola.
Common in most of its range.


This is a monotypic species.
Bates's Paradise-Flycatcher has been split from this species. Has also been considered conspecific with African Paradise-Flycatcher in the past.


Habitat differs through range. Found in primary and mainly secondary forest in Angola. In Republic of Congo in low riverine thickets in open marshes, understorey of flooded forest and sometimes secondary dryland forest. Replaced by Black-headed Paradise-Flycatcher in primary and secondary forest. Also found in mangrove forest and papyrus stands in Gabon.
Occurs in lowlands.


Usually seen solitary or in pairs. Often joins mixed-species flocks.


Feeds on insects. Forages mainly at medium and low levels.
Sallies to catch prey in rapid looping flight, also gleans leaves with frequent hops from branch to branch.


Breeding recorded in January, February, August and November in Gabon, January in Cameroon and January, June and December in DR Congo. A monogamous species. The nest is an open cup made of moss, dry grass, fine fibres and spider webs. It's placed up to 6 m above the ground in a fork of a dead branch or in a trailing vine. Lays 1 to 2 eggs.


This is a resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2014)

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