Pale Blue Flycatcher

I was walking a trail today when I spotted this juvenile actively self-feeding. No adults were in attendance and no calls were heard. The bird was feeding largely by aerial-sallying from perches and snatching caterpillars and insects from the tree foliage. Prey was extensively branch-swiped before being eaten and the bird would land on a different perch after catching prey. Prey was taken every 3-4 minutes.

I initially thought, in view of location and common birds there, that this was an Indochinese Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis sumatrensis) [previously included as part of Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher Cyornis tickelliae]. However the bird was developing blue plumage on the breast, making this unlikely. Wells (2007) also notes of juvenile Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher that the lores are whitish.

The only flycatcher that fits well is the Pale Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis unicolor cyanopolia) juvenile male. Wells (2007) notes that in juveniles there is a narrow buff eye ring, and this can be seen in some views, especially in lower light. Note that the moulting into adulthood is not uniform on both sides of the body….

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Trail along primary jungle; Date: 13th August 2020