Family Monarch-flycatchers (Monarchidae)

Least Concern

Oriental Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone affinis)


French: Tchitrec de Blyth German: Blythparadiesschnäpper Spanish: Monarca del paraíso oriental
Other common names: Blyth's Paradise-flycatcher

Tch[itrea]. affinis


, 1846,

Malay Peninsula


Until recently considered conspecific with T. paradisi, T. incei and T. floris, but molecular study#R suggests otherwise. Differs from second and third in characters given under those species (which see). From first in its much shorter crest (3); smaller bill (allow 2); pale rufous vs white vent (2); and reputedly different voice (ns)#R. Allocation of race saturatior to T. paradisi#R mistaken#R. Proposed races madzoedi (N Sumatra) and australis (S Sumatra) are included in affinis. Eight subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. a. saturatior (Salomonsen, 1933) – E Nepal E to NE India, E Bangladesh and N Myanmar; non-breeding also to S China and Malay Peninsula.
  • T. a. nicobarica Oates, 1890 – C Nicobar Is.
  • T. a. burmae (Salomonsen, 1933) – C Myanmar.
  • T. a. indochinensis (Salomonsen, 1933) – E Myanmar, S China (S Yunnan and SW Guangxi)#R and Thailand E to Indochina.
  • T. a. affinis (Blyth, 1846) – Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Riau and Lingga Archipelagos, Bangka, Belitung and Java.
  • T. a. procera (Richmond, 1903) – Simeulue I (off NW Sumatra).
  • T. a. insularis Salvadori, 1887 – Nias I (off NW Sumatra).
  • T. a. borneensis (E. J. O. Hartert, 1916) – Borneo.
  • Descriptive notes

    19–23 cm (excluding male’s elongated central rectrices, which project up to 27 cm or more beyond others); 14·3–23·5 g. Male nominate race has glossy black head and crest,... read more


    Song is a long series of repeated upslurred whistles, with considerable variation in pace,... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen forest, secondary growth, mangroves, island forest, old plantations (rubber... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects; occasionally spiders (Araneae), and large dragonflies have been recorded being fed to nestlings. Capable of seizing very large... read more


    Season Mar–Jul, even in far S of range (on Borneo). Nest a deep, cone-shaped neat cup constructed (by female) of grasses, palm leaflets,... read more


    Mainly resident. Populations in mountains in far NW of range (saturatior) move S into... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common throughout its huge range. Fairly common to common in SE Asia; common in NE Indian Subcontinent. No significant... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Oriental Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone affinis). 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 July 2018).