Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)


  • Species name: Paradise Flycatcher, Long-tailed Paradise Flycatcher
  • Scientific name: Terpsiphone paradisi
  • Family: Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
  • Order: Passeriformes (Songbirds)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Medium-sized flycatcher, about 33-37 cm (13-14.6 in) long with a wingspan of 24-28 cm (9.4-11 in) for females and up to 45-55 cm (17.7-21.7 in) long for males with their extended tails.
  • Body shape: Slender and graceful, with a long, slightly downcurved beak, a short, rounded head, and a long, deeply forked tail in males.
  • Plumage color:

Males: Fiery orange body, contrasting with their black crown and upper back. Opalescent blue throat feathers shimmer like iridescent jewels. Long, deeply forked tail feathers stream behind them, the outer feathers velvety black with white tips.

Females: Duller overall, with olive-brown upperparts and buff-orange underparts. Tail shorter and less forked than males.

Long, slightly downcurved beak, black.

Slender, pinkish-gray legs.

Large, dark brown eyes.


  • Method of feeding: Primarily eats insects, catching them mid-air with acrobatic sallies and glides. May also glean insects from leaves and branches.
  • Reproduction: Builds cup-shaped nests in trees, often decorated with moss and lichen. Lays 2-3 pale blue eggs with dark speckles. Both parents care for the young.
  • Movement: Resident in most of its range, with some local movements in response to food availability.
  • Communication: Loud, warbling songs and a variety of calls. Males have an elaborate courtship display, involving acrobatic flights and fanning their long tails.


  • Habitat: Tropical and subtropical rainforests, open woodland edges, and secondary forests. Prefers tall trees with open understory.
  • Diet: Insects, spiders, worms, snails, small lizards, and berries.
  • Hunting methods: Perches and scans for prey, then darts out with lightning speed to catch them in its slightly downcurved beak. May also hover near leaves to snatch insects or glean them from branches.

Distribution: Found in New Guinea and several nearby islands, including Aru Islands, Biak, Yapen, and Waigeo.

Paradise Flycatcher

The Paradise Flycatcher, a feathered whirlwind of emerald and scarlet painting the tropical skies, might seem like a simple insect hunter at first glance. But beneath its breathtakingly long tail and seemingly flamboyant plumage lies a treasure trove of surprising facts and adaptations that will transform this aerial acrobat into a captivating dance master, hidden feast master, and unexpected polygynist in your eyes.

Masters of the Aerial Ballet: Forget clumsy hops; Paradise Flycatchers reign supreme in the domain of sun-dappled branches and azure skies. Their powerful wings and surprisingly acrobatic skills propel them through the air with breathtaking agility, looping and diving like feathered trapeze artists on miniature hang gliders. Imagine them as sky ballet dancers with built-in miniature windsurfers and an innate love for synchronized aerial performances.

Hidden Feasting Technique: Don't underestimate their dietary flexibility! While insects are a staple, Paradise Flycatchers are opportunistic omnivores, readily adapting their menu to seasonal bounty. From juicy fruits and nectar to small reptiles and even the occasional amphibian, their varied appetite keeps them fueled for energetic foraging sessions. Think of them as feathered tropical gourmands with built-in miniature buffets hidden within the sunlit canopy.

Dancing with Dazzling Displays: Their calls aren't just chirps and whistles. Paradise Flycatchers possess a rich and distinctive repertoire, with clear, piping songs, intricate trills, and even a signature "seeet-seeet" duet call that echoes melodically through the foliage. But their true mastery lies in their breathtaking visual displays. Males unfurl their impossibly long, ribbon-like tails, transforming into kaleidoscopes of scarlet and emerald as they perform intricate dances and aerial chases, captivating not just mates but potential rivals as well.

Unexpected Polygynists: They're not always faithful partners. Male Paradise Flycatchers, fueled by their dazzling displays and fierce territoriality, often maintain harems of multiple females, each with her own nest and brood to tend. This feathered Casanova, with his built-in miniature harem charm and unwavering determination, becomes a sultan of the canopy, juggling responsibilities and defending his vibrant domain.

Champions of Ecosystem Health: They're not just colorful residents. Paradise Flycatchers play a vital role in the health of tropical ecosystems. Their insect feasting controls pest populations, while their droppings fertilize the soil, making them feathered forest doctors with built-in miniature pest-control systems and environmental beautification kits.

Cultural Charmers: Across Southeast Asia and New Guinea, the Paradise Flycatcher has held diverse cultural significance. In some regions, its dazzling displays inspire admiration for its beauty and grace. In others, its long tail is seen as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.

Unexpected Regional Variations: Did you know? Not all Paradise Flycatchers are the same! Different populations across their vast range show subtle variations in plumage color and tail length, adding a touch of feathered diversity to this adaptable species.