Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher in the backyard: A Record

Author: Ravi Kailas (ficustours@gmail.com)

Peeking out of the window this morning, on the usual reflex to check the fruiting Peepal tree in the vicinity, found this welcome addition to the mix of activity – a Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher, a winter visitor from the Himalayas/passage migrant through the Chennai area. This obliging individual (typical of its kind), caught some insects for breakfast (possibly lacking in the usual smoky flavour given the unexpectedly cleaner air in the location) and supplemented this diet with some of the fruit as well. This sighting gave more than the usual pleasure of seeing a pretty bird in the backyard, coming as it did, in the background of what seems to have been a poor year for passerine migrants to this part of the world and also livening the day while under the pandemic shutdown. Migrants like this also tell a larger story – records of what/whether/when/how many suggest clues into the ecological changes in their breeding and wintering grounds and their migratory paths, as well as the importance of urban green spaces, which can host a surprising variety of wildlife.

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