• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

African Paradise-Flycatcher - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by d.flack
Durban Botanical Gardens, South Africa, September 2004
Terpsiphone viridis


Rufous Morph
Photo © by rudydbn
Farutso Forest Gambia, Africa, March, 2018

18 cm (7 in) with 10-18 cm (4-7 in) long tail streamers.
Male - black head, neck and underparts, chestnut wings and tail, white wingbar.
Female - browner tint to the underparts, no wingbar and no tail streamers.
Young birds are similar to the female but duller.

The male African Paradise Flycatcher comes in two distinct forms a rufous morph and a white morph. They may even change colour from rufous to white and can sometimes be seen part way through the change with a mixture of white and rufous feathers. The dark head and blue eye are common to both forms. The female always retains the rufous colouring.

African Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis) is closely related to Black-headed Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone rufiventer) , and hybrids occur with the underparts a mixture of black and red.


Widespread throughout Africa (south of the Sahara Desert) and the Middle East
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, eSwatini
Middle East: Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman



Photo © by Steve G
Mandina Lodges, Makasutu, The Gambia, March 2005
White Morph, young male
Photo © by Steve G
Arabuko-Sokoke forest, coastal Kenya, August 2007

There are 10 subspecies.[1]

  • T. v. viridis:
  • T. v. speciosa:
  • T. v. ferreti:
  • T. v. restricta:
  • T. v. kivuensis:
  • T. v. suahelica:
  • T. v. ungujaensis:
  • T. v. plumbeiceps:
  • T. v. granti:
  • Natal to south-western Cape Province; winters to southern Tanzania
  • T. v. harterti:


Evergreen, coastal and riverine forests.



The clutch consists of 2-3 eggs which are laid in a tiny cup nest in a tree.


The diet consists of insects, including eggs and larvae, spiders; they also eat some small berries.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2016)
  4. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.