Palawan blue-flycatcher (Cyornis lemprieri)

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Palawan blue-flycatcher being held for identification
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Palawan blue-flycatcher fact file

Palawan blue-flycatcher description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderPasseriformes
FamilyMuscicapidae
GenusCyornis (1)

The Palawan blue-flycatcher (Cyornis lemprieri) is a small, attractive songbird from the Philippines (3).

The male and female Palawan blue-flycatcher differ significantly in appearance. The male has a brilliant iridescent deep blue head and wings, with a golden chest and white belly. In contrast, the female is less showy and better camouflaged, having brown feathers on the head and wings, an orange-yellow chest, and a white underbelly (2). Both the male and female Palawan blue-flycatcher have a small, sharp beak for gleaning insects, and large, bright eyes (2).

The call of the Palawan blue-flycatcher is a slow, soft whistle consisting of a descending ‘de do da’ phrase followed by a rising ‘da do de’, after a pause of a few seconds. This species also makes a four-note ‘da de do poy’ call (2).

Also known as
Palawan blue flycatcher.
Size
Length: 16 cm (2)
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Palawan blue-flycatcher biology

A shy bird which is often hidden among the understorey foliage, the Palawan blue-flycatcher is rarely seen. It typically occurs on its own or in pairs (2) as it forages for insects in the understory (3).

The Palawan blue-flycatcher breeds in April and June (3), but very little other information is available on this bird’s breeding biology.

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Palawan blue-flycatcher range

The Palawan blue-flycatcher is endemic to the islands of Palawan, Balabac, Culion and Calauit in the Philippines (4).

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Palawan blue-flycatcher habitat

The Palawan blue-flycatcher inhabits the understorey of lowland dry primary rainforest and secondary growth, below elevations of 1,000 metres (3).

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Palawan blue-flycatcher status

The Palawan blue-flycatcher is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Near Threatened

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Palawan blue-flycatcher threats

The major threat to the Palawan blue-flycatcher is forest loss, which is particularly severe on the island of Palawan (3). The lowland forest of the Philippines has been greatly impacted by logging, mining and land conversion, compounded by a rapidly growing human population (5). As a result, a mere three percent of the Philippines’ lowland forest is estimated to remain (5).

Fortunately, the Palawan blue-flycatcher is less affected by deforestation than some other species, due to its ability to inhabit secondary growth (3).

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Palawan blue-flycatcher conservation

The Palawan blue-flycatcher has been observed in one protected area, in St Paul's Subterranean River National Park on Palawan (3). However, no specific conservation measures are currently known to be in place for this species.

Proposed conservation actions for the Palawan blue-flycatcher include determining the rates of forest clearance on Palawan, and surveying the Palawan blue-flycatcher’s habitat to provide estimates of its population (3). It will also be important, both for this species and for numerous others, to protect all remaining fragments of lowland forest within the Palawan blue-flycatcher’s range (3).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

Find out more about the Palawan blue-flycatcher and its conservation:

More information on conservation in the Philippines:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

This species information was authored as part of the ARKive and Universities Scheme.
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Glossary

Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Primary rainforest
Rainforest that has remained undisturbed for a long time and has reached a mature condition.
Secondary growth
Vegetation that has re-grown after a major disturbance, such as fire or clearance.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (June, 2011)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  2. Kennedy, R.S. (2000) A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  3. BirdLife International (June, 2011)
    http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=6565
  4. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Christie, D. (2006) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  5. Conservation International: Biodiversity Hotspots - Philippines (June, 2011)
    http://www.biodiversityhotspots.org/xp/hotspots/philippines
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Image credit

Palawan blue-flycatcher being held for identification  
Palawan blue-flycatcher being held for identification

© Jon Hornbuckle

Jon Hornbuckle
jonhornbuckle@yahoo.com

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