Narcissus Flycatcher

April 27th, 2019    If the Common Kingfisher,(Kawasemi) is the jewel of the river, then the Narcissus Flycatcher, (Kibitaki) is the jewel of the forest. It’s name is derived from the Narcissus flower, and not the mythological Greek hunter who fell in love with his reflection.


The male, even in his brilliant spring plumage, is more often heard than seen. I often hear them from the end of April through May singing in the woods. Their lilting melody, in three or four variations, drifts into wood-side fields and clearings from out of the shady forest. If you sit quietly, you may see him fly out of the woods in search of flying insects.

  Once their territory has been established, they generally sing constantly for around five to ten minutes, sometimes longer. Then there is an intermission for some minutes before returning to their singing. I followed the song of this male to an area in his territory he seemed to favor. He approached within range of the camera lens after an hour or so.

  Last year, along the road that circles Yamagami Dam Lake, I counted five males that had established territories. This year there are three so far, and I expect more will come soon. The females should begin arriving in the first few weeks of May. These birds, smaller than a House Sparrow,(Suzume) brighten the Spring with their beautiful song and colors.

The Chinese Bamboo Partridge, (Kojyukei) and a Great Tit, (Shijugara) were also spotted as I walked along the road around Yamagami Dam.



Update on Kingfisher nest site:  I went back to check on the Common Kingfisher Nest site from the last post, and it appears they have abandoned the burrow. They are still in the area, so perhaps they have established a new nest somewhere.

Thanks for visiting the Mostly Birds!


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