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, below), 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 others); 20–22 g. Male exhibits marked plumage dichromatism. Male... 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, Mar–Jul in SE Asia, and May–Jul in C China and SE Russia.... read more


    Complex and not fully understood. Most N populations winter in S India, Sri Lanka, SE Asia, Sumatra... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common throughout range. Common in much of Indian Subcontinent, but rare in Bhutan; described as very common in Kathmandu Valley, in Nepal... read more

    Recommended citation

    Moeliker, K. (2017). 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 22 November 2017).