Tickell's blue flycatcher

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Tickell's blue flycatcher
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher Male.jpg
Male, Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India
Cyornis tickelliae female - Kaeng Krachan.jpg
Female, Thailand
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Cyornis
Species: C. tickelliae
Binomial name
Cyornis tickelliae
Blyth, 1843
Synonyms

Muscicapa tickelliae
Cyornis tickelli
Muscicapula tickelliae

Tickell's blue flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae) is a small passerine bird in the flycatcher family. This is an insectivorous species which breeds in tropical Asia, from the Indian Subcontinent eastwards to Southeast Asia. Its range stretches across all the countries from India to Indonesia. They are blue on the upperparts and the throat and breast are rufous. They are found in dense scrub to forest habitats.

The name commemorates the British ornithologist Samuel Tickell who collected in India and Burma.[2]

Description[edit]

Male carrying food for young (Ananthagiri Hills, India)

Tickell's blue flycatcher is about 11–12 cm long. It sits upright and forages mainly in the overgrowth. The male's upper parts are bright blue, its throat and breast are red, and the rest of the underparts are white. The female is duller blue with a brighter blue brow, shoulder, rump, and tail. It hybridizes with the pale-chinned blue flycatcher (Cyornis poliogenys) in the Eastern Ghats of India and these hybrids have sometimes been called the subspecies vernayi. The juvenile is streaked and has a spotted mantle, scaly brown upperparts, head and breast, with just the wings and tail being blue.[3]

They have sometimes been known to feed even after dusk.[4] Apart from flying insects they have been noted to occasionally glean crawling insects.[5]

The widespread species shows regional variations in plumage and size and several of these populations have been designated with subspecies names. The nominate form is found in India, Nepal and Myanmar. The Sri Lankan population is separated as jerdoni (or nesea/mesaea said to be darker[6]) and the population in Thailand and southern Myanmar is named as indochina. Further south is the form sumatrensis (Sumatra Island, Malaysia) and lamprus on Anamba Island.[7][8]

In the past this species has been considered as a subspecies of the blue-throated blue flycatcher (Cyornis rubeculoides) which resembles this but has a blue throat.[9]

Habitat and distribution[edit]

Tickell's blue flycatcher breeds in dry forest, scrub, bamboo and gardens.

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

The metallic song of the bird includes a series of clicks followed by five or six notes that end abruptly.[6] The metallic song consists of short clicks followed by five or six notes resembling that of the white-browed fantail-flycatcher. Alarm calls include churr and clicking notes.[3] It is a wary bird and not always easily observed. It is a forest-loving species which is found in thick cover and shade, and particularly haunts the banks of wooded streams.

They feed mainly by capturing insects in flight but their prey include other insects such as termites and earwigs that may be gleaned or picked from the ground.[10]

The breeding season is April to August (March to June in Sri Lanka). It nests in a hole in a tree or amongst rocks that is lined with fine grass and fibres and lay 3–5 eggs.[11][12][13]

Male, Thailand

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Cyornis tickelliae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael (2003). Whose Bird? Men and Women Commemorated in the Common Names of Birds. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 338–339. 
  3. ^ a b Rasmussen, P.C.; and Anderton, J.C. (2005). Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Volume 2. Smithsonian Institution & Lynx Edicions. pp. 385–387. 
  4. ^ Sharma, S.K. (2006). "Nocturnal feeding by the Tickell's Blue Flycatcher Cyornis tickelliae". Zoos' Print Journal 21 (2): 2171. doi:10.11609/jott.zpj.1359.2171. 
  5. ^ Serrao, J.S. (1964). "Tickell's Blue Flycatcher feeding on crawling prey". Newsletter for Birdwatchers 4 (3): 12. 
  6. ^ a b Whistler, Hugh (1949). Popular handbook of Indian birds. London: Gurney and Jackson. pp. 122–124. 
  7. ^ Baker, E. C. Stuart (1924). The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Birds. Volume 2. London: Taylor and Francis. pp. 234–236. 
  8. ^ Robinson H.C.; and N.B. Kinnear (1928). "Notes on the Genus Cyornis Blyth". Novitates Zoologicae 34: 231–261. 
  9. ^ Wait, W.E. (1922). "The Passerine birds of Ceylon". Spolia Zeylanica 12: 117–118. 
  10. ^ D'Abreu, E.A. (1920). Report of the proceedings of the third entomological meeting. Volume 3. Calcutta: Government Press. pp. 859–871. 
  11. ^ Abdulali, Humayun (1979). "The nesting of Tickell's Flycatcher (Muscicapa tickelliae) in Bombay". J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 76 (1): 159–161. 
  12. ^ Hume, A.O. (1890). The nests and eggs of Indian birds. Volume 2. London: R. H. Porter. pp. 7–8. 
  13. ^ Oates, E.W. (1903). Catalogue of the collection of birds' eggs in the British Museum. volume 3. London: British Museum. p. 256. 

External links[edit]