African Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis)
The African Paradise Flycatcher is a small, 7" (18cm) bird with an iridescent blue-black head, featuring a crest. Its mantle, wings, rump and tail are rufous. The birds in the west of Kenya feature white wing bars (coastal birds do not), although this varies, according to the gene pool. Its underparts are grey. The eye-ring and broad, flat bill are blue. Females have shorter tails and less bright blue eye-rings than males. The male, when breeding, grows an impressive pair of tail feathers, adding 7" (18cm) to the length, doubling his length. There is also a white morph of the African Paradise Flycatcher, seen in the east of Kenya; the rufous feathers on top being replaced by white.
African Paradise Flycatchers are seen in pairs or small family groups. The also join other birds who enter their territory and are approachable by humans, when feeding. They can be agressive towards larger birds and are very territorial.
African Paradise Flycatchers eat insects, moths, butterflies, beetles, ants and spiders. They are arboreal birds and extremely active, flying from tree to tree, but tend to remain in an area. They eat from the foliage and bark of trees, or fly out to capture insects on the wing.
African Paradise Flycatchers are found in woodlands, bush and gardens all over Kenya, except in dry, arid areas.
Extra African Paradise Flycatcher Facts
African Paradise Flycatchers make little cup-shaped nests in forks of trees, low down, from feathers, moss and held together by spider's web. Two or three eggs are laid and the male assists in feeding the chicks. However, these birds are parasited by Green-backed Honeybirds and Jacobin & Diderick Cuckoos, who toss out the Flycatcher's eggs and replace them with their own.
Photographed in Kenya's Olare Orok Conservancy.
Keywords:african paradise flycatcher, bird, flycatcher, kenya, paradise flycatcher, wildlife