Saturday, September 10, 2011

Anduru Nil Masimara - The Dusky-Blue Flycatcher (Eumyias sordida)


Size Sparrow-sized. Sexes similar, but the juveniles are brown, heavily spotted on head, back, wing-coverts and breast with pale buff; flight feathers are broadly margined with blue-grey.


It is not a shy bird. It feeds mainly on flying insects, beetles, caterpillars and the like, but also eats berries such as wild yellow rasberry, lantana, etc. It has a sweet rather loud song.

The main breeding season is in the first half of the year, March and April being the favourite months; but a second -or a third-brood is often reared in August-September. The nest is a compact mass of green moss, with a neat, rather deep cup in the top, lined with fine black fibers, probably fern roots. The site is always well shaded, but not always well concealed. The normal clutch is two, but occasionally three eggs are laid. They are pale pink, freckled all over with pale burnt sienna, which often formas a zone, or cap, at the large end. They measure about 20.5 X 14.8 mm.  


The flycatcher is confined to the hills above 2,000 feet, but is not common below 3,000 feet. It inhabits forest or well-wooded ravines on estates, gardens, etc., where plenty of shady trees give it the seclusion it loves. 


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