Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Tickell's Blue-flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae)


French: Gobemouche de Tickell German: Tickellblauschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas de Tickell
Other common names: Tickell’s Jungle-flycatcher

C[yornis]. Tickelliae


, 1843,

Borabhum, central India


Taxonomic status of this species and C. poliogenys (which see) uncertain; the two hybridize extensively in E India (Eastern Ghats), and race vernayi of latter recently considered to be the result of such interbreeding; detailed review of both forms urgently required. Hitherto treated as conspecific with C. sumatrensis (which see). Claim in HBW that race jerdoni might merit species status apparently based on comparisons with taxa here treated under C. sumatrensis. E range limit of nominate race unclear, but claimed occurrence in Myanmar no longer upheld#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. t. tickelliae Blyth, 1843 – S Nepal and N, C & S India; non-breeding spreads widely into plains of India#R.
  • C. t. jerdoni Holdsworth, 1872 – Sri Lanka.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; 12–18 g. Medium-sized blue or paler blue-grey flycatcher with orange and white underparts. Male nominate race has upper forehead to over eye azure-blue... read more


    Song, throughout year (most song in Apr and May), by both sexes, a series of fast tinkling notes... read more


    Inhabits lowland and submontane open dry woodlands and forest, including secondary forest, edges,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet not well known, but includes small invertebrates and larvae. Recorded as eating a small frog (Pseudophilautus sp.) in Sri... read more


    Season Apr–Aug in most of range; Mar–Jun in Sri Lanka. Territorial. Displaying male leans sideways and raises crest and back... read more


    Resident, with some localized movements. Those in N India disperse S into plains between Oct and... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common in India, but scarce resident or possibly only winter visitor in lowland Nepal; common in Sri Lanka. This species... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Tickell's Blue-flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae). 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 16 December 2019).