Malaysian Birds - Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher


Flycatchers are normally brown or blue but there is this odd one that is yellow in color. The bird scientifically named as Culicicapa ceylonenis and the sub-species for those in Malaysia are given a name  Culicicapa ceylonenis antioxanta.

Size & diagnostic markings:-

12Cm. In the appropriate season this bird is all over the forest from lowland to montane. More often in lowland. Its call is continuous but the bird may not be sighted. It's not difficult as the bird is in a small confine signaled by the call and remain there for some time. Quite often in the open forest edge at low attitude.  The upper side of the body is olive green while the upper part of the tail and under part yellow, with an unmistakable Grey head and grey breast. The under part of a brighter shade of yellow.

Distribution :-  

In the lowland region south of the Himalayas Mountain and in Sunda. Could be common resident in Malaysia but seen more in the sub-montane region during migratory period. Seen the bird nesting on a couple of occasions in the lowlands.

My personal jottings :-

I like this bird particularly in the migratory seasons. It is constantly calling and assuring of good bird life present. However at this period perhaps being a migrant the bird is very shy. On the contrary those in the lowland give a feeling that it is well domesticated showing no sign or fear or flight. Returning to its low perch every time despite of the presence of human.

This bird is much smaller when compared with most other Flycatchers and could in fact be mistaken for as a Warbler. This is another bird from the southern slopes of the Himalayas, from the west of India to west of china. Then down to the island of Sri Langka [Ceylon]. A montane bird but in Malaysia, a sub-montane to lowland bird. Could not ascertain which level  the bird prefers but when seen in breeding season, they would be at the middle storey.

Grey-headed Canry-Flycatcher 's picture No. 1

Grey-headed Canry-Flycatcher 's picture No. 2

Grey-headed Canry-Flycatcher 's picture No. 3

Grey-headed Canry-Flycatcher 's picture No. 4

Grey-headed Canry-Flycatcher 's picture No. 5

Grey-headed Canry-Flycatcher 's picture No. 6

Grey-headed Canry-Flycatcher 's picture No. 7

When it comes to ranking the most commonly seen Flycatchers, this bird is ranked 3rd after the Verditer and the Pale blue. But unlike the other two, their sightings was drawn by its outstanding blue color against a green forest background, this Canary Flycatcher is not easily seen. Either it does not maintain a permanent perch or it prefers places among thick foliages. Its presence in the area was signaled by its continuous call and  heard in almost all forest of the lowlands and some times sub-montane region.

In the breeding season, the bird adopt a contrasting stance. Perched in the open and returning to the same perch each time. This was the time when these series of pictures were taken mainly in the Perdik Forest



 Back to Malaysian Birds page to explore for more