The Mesmerizing Paradise-Flycatcher
This bird is so beautiful that photos and words can’t do justice to it. You need to see it to understand what I mean to say.
The male has a glossy, silky royal blue head & a crest, a blue beak and matching eye-rings. His body is all white with a hint of black on his wing-tips. The tail is really long, upto three times his body length.
The female has a normal tail and she has rufous upperparts. Another point of distinction is that female’s front neck is grey whereas the male has all glossy blue – black head and neck.
The immature or eclipse male looks like his mother but has a long tail like his father.
In flight, the male looks like a dart with long trailing ribbons. They can fly really fast.
They feed on tiny flying insects.
I have seen a male take a perch on a tree next to a small Himalayan stream. He, then, flew low in a wavy manner over the stream, catching insects in flight and returned to its original perch. This continued for quite a while.
The male fans out his tail while flapping his wings and moving his two tail streamers. He can move them up and down independently or together; or curl them or spread them apart. He also has control over his crest feathers and can split them into two, flatten them or raise them according to his will.
These are migratory birds and they feed on insects. Excessive use of pesticides and insecticides has severely affected the population of insects. So whenever you reach for an insecticide / pesticide spray, do think of this beautiful bird.