Grayheaded flycatcher

Culicicapa ceylonensis

SUBFAMILY

Petroicinae

TAXONOMY

Platyrhynchus ceylonensis Swainson, 1820, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Gray-headed canary flycatcher; French: Gobemouche à tête grise; German: Graukopf-Kanarienschnäpper; Spanish: Papamoscas Canario de Cabeza Gris.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4-5.25 in (11-13 cm); c. 0.4 oz (11 g). Gray head, throat, and breast. Yellow back and belly; and dark grayish brown wings and tail.

DISTRIBUTION

Breeds patchily in India and along Himalayas from northern Pakistan across to Bangladesh, Myanmar, southern China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Bali, Lombok, Sumba, and Flores. Leaves higher altitudes in winter and spreads into plains in India and into southern Thailand and Vietnam. Four subspecies.

HABITAT

Primary and tall secondary lowland and hill forests; riverine forests; remnant forests; and cultivated trees, including coffee. Up to 9,840 ft (3,000 m) elevation in the Himalayas. Moves onto plains in India in winter and out of higher altitudes.

BEHAVIOR

Singly or in pairs. Usually in mid-story, perched on bare branches or vines. May join flocks of mixed species. Calls are comprised of a rising series of two or three short whistles, as well as a trilling song.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Sallies from branches for flying insects. Flutters and hovers among foliage.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds March to June. Cup-shaped nest of moss and lichen, often placed on epiphytes on trees or rocks. Lays two to four pale buff eggs, with gray blotches.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Some populations are common, but subspecies on Lombok and Flores are apparently uncommon or rare.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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