African Paradise Flycatcher

African Paradise Flycatcher, what a lovely name. It conjures up a mental picture of an exotic species and when you see him for the first time you won’t be disappointed. I say him because while the female is beautiful the male has a long swooshing tail which sort of reminds me of Siamese Fighting-fish. But I digress, this lovely bird is a resident at Footsteps and more specifically by our Eco-pool. They sit on a branch about 2 metres high and swoop down gracefully to the water every few minutes. This year I was lucky enough to be in The Gambia until the end of July 2020. And in June managed to record this footage of a female African Paradise Flycatcher making her nest using a spider web. Fascinating, I hope you enjoy it. Music by Fatoumata Diawara.

The proud father.

Where is the African Paradise Flycatcher found?

As mentioned earlier, this exotic long-tailed little bird is a daily visitor at Footsteps. 

 It generally inhabits open forests and savanna and is a locally common resident breeder in Africa south of the Sahara. Source Wikipedia

In Gambia for example this delightful bird is widespread and also generally fairly common in forest interiors and by water.

What does it look like?

The male and female are approximately 18 cm in length with the male adding an impressive further 18 cm with his long tail. They are both a rusty red-brown colour with a blue bill, eyering, legs and a blue/black crested head.

What does it feed on?

They feed mainly on insects. Often hunting by catching flies on the wing, and eating eggs as well as larvae and adults. It also feeds on spiders and sometimes they are partial to a berry or two.

Want to know an interesting Factoid?

They make their nest using a spider’s web to bind it together. The cup-shaped nest is built in a tree and usually, two or three eggs are laid.

How does it sound?

The African paradise flycatcher is a noisy bird with a harsh scolding call.

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