Family Monarch-flycatchers (Monarchidae)

Least Concern

Indian Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)


French: Tchitrec de paradis German: Hainparadiesschnäpper Spanish: Monarca del paraíso indio
Other common names: Asian Paradise-flycatcher

Corvus paradisi


, 1758,



Until recently considered conspecific with T. incei, T. affinis and T. floris (see all three), but morphological evidence and, in the case of T. affinis, also vocal data#R support molecular study#R that suggests breakdown into at least three (in fact four) species. Allocation of T. affinis saturatior to present species#R mistaken#R. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. p. leucogaster (Swainson, 1838) – W Tien Shan S to N Afghanistan, N Pakistan, NW & NC India and W & C Nepal; non-breeding E Pakistan and peninsular India.
  • T. p. paradisi (Linnaeus, 1758) – C & S India, C Bangladesh and SW Myanmar; non-breeding also Sri Lanka.
  • T. p. ceylonensis (Zarudny & Härms, 1912) – Sri Lanka.
  • Descriptive notes

    20 cm (excluding male’s elongated central rectrices, which may project up to 30 cm beyond rest); 16–22 g. Male exhibits marked plumage dichromatism. Male nominate... read more


    Song a slow, fluty, descending warble, “chu wu wu wu wu wu”. Calls by both sexes... read more


    In W of range inhabits deciduous mountain forest, shady and well-watered groves, light forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Chiefly small winged insects, such as dipterans, neuropterans, hemipterans, coleopterans, lepidopterans and Odonata; occasionally spiders (... read more


    Season Mar–Aug (chiefly May–Jun) in India and Pakistan. Monogamous; territorial, male very intolerant of intruders. Probably... read more


    Most populations resident. NW race leucogaster present in most of breeding range Apr... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common throughout range, except in Central Asia, where considered to be uncommon and just 200 pairs are estimated to breed... read more

    Recommended citation

    Moeliker, K., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Indian Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 15 December 2018).