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The migrant Indian Paradise Flycatcher

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Author Topic: The migrant Indian Paradise Flycatcher  (Read 306 times)
FrozenIceBoy
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 06:02:40 am »

Really amazing. This information is help full too thanks.
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« on: February 25, 2013, 02:49:20 am »


Everybody knows or at some time or another has seen the Ceylon Paradise Flycatcher or 'Gini-Hora', but there would be many who may have not seen its white brother, the Indian Paradise Flycatcher. And of the two the latter is the more striking.
What is the difference between the two? In India there is a legend which tells you why the adult Flycatcher there drops its chestnut colour and adopts a white plumage. Among our villagers too, there is a belief that the white-phase bird ('Kiri Hora') is a rare resident which annually sheds its long tail streamers and goes into hiding in the heart of the jungle until a new tail is grown.

The fact is that the white-phase Flycatcher is purely a migrant bird arriving here from the Indian mainland in winter and going there back again next spring to breed.

Anyone who is looking at a white Paradise Flycatcher for the first time is liable to take it for granted that it was born like that. It is not so. Irrespective of sex, the juveniles of both the Indian and Lankan races are generally chestnut, with blue-black head and whitish under-parts. After the first annual molt, the tail of the male begins to lengthen and grows to a length of about 12 to 15 inches with the second molt. In the third annual molt the male of the Indian race gradually changes from chestnut to white plumage, and by the fourth molt it becomes completely white, except in the head, neck and chest, which remain glossy blue-black.

The male of the Lankan race and female of both the races continue in the chestnut phase, throughout their life. However, females do not carry long tail streamers like the males. The male of the Lankan race is known very occasionally to sport white tail streamers.

The Paradise Flycatcher, Tchitrea paradisi is found in Turkistan, Afghanistan and Baluchistan, through the greater part of India to Burma, and still further eastwards. Three forms are described from the Indian region out of which the typical race paradisi occurs in the hills and dales of peninsula India and visits Sri Lanka during the north-east monsoon. The race leucogaster which differs from the first mentioned in size and detail of colouration inhabits Afghanistan, Turkistan, Kashmir and through the Himalayas to East Nepal. The other nicobarica, which has the head, neck and breast ashy-grey with only the cap and crest black, is found in Assam, migrating to the Nicobar and Andaman Islands in winter. The race ceylonensis is endemic to the island.

Within its breeding range the Paradise Flycatcher moves about a great deal. Thus, with different localities in India it holds different status. In one it's a 'summer migrant', a 'passage migrant' in another, and still in another locality it is considered a 'scarce winter visitor'.

This seasonal movement is evident even with the Lankan race. For instance, in the northeast monsoon period, the resident Paradise Flycatchers disperse all over the wet and the dry zones and in the hills to a height of at least 3,700 feet. Then about March to April they begin to move out again and concentrate in the forest tracts of the drier areas where they pair and breed during May to June.

"The nest is a beautiful little cup, composed of fine fibres, bast etc, bound around with cobweb, and decorated on the sides with spider's egg-cocoons. It is placed on a downward-hanging, more or less bare branch or liana, or in a fork of a slender bough, generally with no attempt at concealment. "(Henry 1955).



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