African Paradise Flycatcher – Diving for Insects Video

African Paradise Flycatcher – Diving for Insects Video

I filmed this African Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis) while we were hiking at the Kleinrivier Game Reserve near Uitenhage.

It’s a chestnut coloured bird with striking blue eye-rings and a blue bill. The sexes look very similar, but the biggest difference is the length of the tail; the two central tail feathers of the male are extended into streamers and is an eye-catching feature, being as they are longer than his body – up to 17cm in length.

They enjoy being in forests and plantations. They are insectivorous and forage for insects in the canopies of trees and forest undergrowth and, as shown in the video below, they even pick up insects floating on bodies of water as well. They will also catch flies on the wing, and eat the eggs, larvae and adults. They also eat spiders and sometimes berries too.

It has short legs and sits very upright whilst perched prominently, similar to a shrike.

Watch my video below of the African Paradise Flycatcher diving to catch insects on the surface of a pond:

The African Paradise Flycatcher is a noisy bird with a relatively harsh call. The cup-shaped nest is built in a tree and the female will lay a clutch of two or three white eggs that will hatch after an incubation period of around 15 days.

Picture of a Humming Bird advertising Birding Planet's Facebook group.

There are sixteen variations of Paradise Flycatchers around the world:

Bedford’s paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone bedfordi)
Rufous-vented paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone rufocinerea)
Red-bellied paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone rufiventer)
Annobón paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone smithii)
Bates’s paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone batesi)
African paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis)
Indian paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)
Blyth’s paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone affinis)
Amur paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone incei)
Japanese paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone atrocaudata)
Blue paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone cyanescens)
Rufous paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone cinnamomea)
São Tomé paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone atrochalybeia)
Malagasy paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone mutata)
Seychelles paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone corvina)
Mascarene paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone bourbonnensis)

African Paradise Flycatcher on - taken by Rory Wilson
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Rory Wilson

I am an avid hiker, birdwatcher and camper. I love the outdoors. I initially started Birding Planet to share my bird videos, now I enjoy connecting with birdwatchers around the world. Come join the Birding Planet group at

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