Such an embarrassingly populist title of a weblog submit ought to clearly be adopted by some dry info. Right here goes: Paradise Flycatchers are a genus within the broader (and slightly massive) household of Monarchidae. There are 17 totally different species of them, a couple of of them endangered, significantly some island endemics. Whereas most of them are non-migratory, the 2 that go to Shanghai are migratory: the Amur Paradise Flycatcher and the Japanese Paradise Flycatcher.
A attribute of most however not all Paradise Flycatchers is the lengthy tail of the male chook (tail size is considered a criterion by which females choose their companions – please insert your individual pornographic joke right here). Which means the chook proven beneath – if I’m right in considering it’s a male Japanese Paradise Flycatcher with a slightly quick story – will battle to discover a associate this yr.
The Japanese Paradise Flycatcher often arrives in Shanghai a bit sooner than the Amur one, because it nonetheless has to journey on to Japan. It’s listed as Close to Threatened – the HBW cites the same old causes which can be simply different methods of claiming that people don’t care sufficient for different species, resembling forest loss and degradation in its winter vary. In fact, for nations with principally average climates such because the US, China, Japan, or Germany, it’s all the time simpler to say that the winter vary is the issue (i.e., not their very own).
Wikipedia claims that in Japanese, its track is rendered as tsuki-hi-hoshi, hoi-hoi-hoi, which interprets to Moon-Solar-Stars and provides the Japanese title of the chook sankocho (actually, chook of three lights, i.e. moon, solar, star, from san three + ko lights + cho chook) – and possibly that’s true, or possibly the one who wrote the Wikipedia entry simply has a humorousness much like mine …
I’m positive that like me, you have got spent many sleepless nights questioning in regards to the territory dimension of breeding Japanese Paradise Flycatchers. Worry not, science has a solution: about 1.16 hectares, which is an area of a bit greater than 100 meters by 100 meters (US readers: please do your individual conversion into sq. toes per inch, or no matter antiquated items you utilize. Simply be certain that to do the conversion appropriately earlier than you launch any house shuttles).
One way or the other, watching the male Japanese Paradise Flycatcher fly with its lengthy tail following it just like the ribbons of a ribbon dancer jogs my memory of Oscar Wilde’s play “Salome” – I suppose it’s the “Dance of the seven veils” affiliation … with the web page of Herodias continually saying that “One thing horrible might occur” … and it does. Oscar Wilde was form of my old flame as a reader after I was about 15 – possibly I ought to learn Dorian Grey once more one among nowadays.
There’s probably not that a lot different data on the Japanese Paradise Flycatcher. Beneath are some pictures of the feminine.
Switching to the Amur Paradise Flycatcher, which has the Latin species title of incei.
This title is derived from Commander John Matthew Robert Ince (1812-1850) Royal Navy, surveyor, collector in Australia, New Guinea and China (supply: HBW). Sadly, there may be not a lot data on Mr. Ince – no Wikipedia entry, so far as I can inform – simply the curious bit of data that round 1846, he was on half pay on board the Fly 18 (supply). This doesn’t fairly appear to advantage naming a horny chook species after him, however what do I do know – I might not have named a profitable card in a card sport after an atrocious US president both …
The male is available in two morphs, although the white morph is considerably uncommon, and I didn’t see it this yr.
Whereas additionally migratory, the Amur Paradise Flycatcher might finish its journey in Shanghai and breed right here, although the kind of habitat it requires is getting rarer and rarer (one of many previous locations I knew of is simply getting destroyed this yr).
Find out how to distinguish the 2 species, as they appear considerably comparable? You may look it up here – it’s a way more detailed description than I may ever handle.
Personally, I discover it nearly simpler to only take heed to the chook – the calls are totally different, with those of the Amur Paradise Flycatcher sounding a bit extra refined to me (although to be sincere, none of those sound significantly good – when you look this spectacular, you do not want to be a terrific singer as effectively).
Other than that, not a lot I can say about these two species – I’ll finish with some pictures of the feminine Amur Paradise Flycatcher.
(all pictures taken at Nanhui, Shanghai in Might 2023)