To believe is to see: Nilgiri Flycatcher

Love dwells
in our hearts
as eagerly as
it does in our eyes;
no man, woman or child
is an island, much
a bird sanctuary
in paradise.

I have seen the Nilgiri Flycatcher only in pairs; several times in different parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Never though has the male or the female shown up solo to enthrall me.

Nilgiri Flycatcher

The male always seems to first arrive, barring his fluffy indigo blue breast, violet hair gel and long tail-feathers with a smattering of pale-white. He suspiciously, but with élan, tilts his head sideways as if to say “what business do we have together for you to find it appropriate to disturb me during my meal, good sir?” As I arc the camera lens towards him, he quickly disappears behind prickly bushes.

Seconds later, his lover drops by, with a song in her breath and doubt in her shadowy eyes. Every time she sings “epp epp epp”, she looks more intently at me. And the mosaic of colours – grey and blue – in her plumage glistens in the sun’s spittle. She then gracefully looks away, angling her dark-brown beak, as if to wonder what force in this blue planet would make me leave her and the anxious lover in peace.

Nilgiri Flycatcher

And I smile, trying to make sense of whatever brought them, and their love, to me.

Why you have just have to believe if you want to really see

Flycatchers, with a tinge of blue, have been my nemesis in bird identification. I always mix them up with each other. For instance, the Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher with the Blue-Throated Flycatcher. The Verditer Flycatcher with the White-Bellied Blue one. And the Nilgiri Flycatcher with the previous two. Due apologies if I got them confused again in these photographs.

33 thoughts on “To believe is to see: Nilgiri Flycatcher

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  1. I share your feeling for birds, like there is a deeper level of understanding with them. People have a tendency of boxing each other in, with nice little labels and idiosyncrasies categorizing each other before we even get an opportunity to really KNOW one another, frustrating sometimes, with my own species.

    WordPress (I’m not on FB or Twitter) is a great way for enjoying others on the other side of the globe. Cheers and joy, Christy! Thanks for re-blogging this great post. (And for teaching me how to do it too!)

    PS — Kids loved the video of the flycatcher. ‘Awwwws’ all around here. Such a pretty girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Frustrating indeed comrade, very well put! You must know that i gorge on your (and your family’s) connections with birds too and so very glad I could provide the link to awwws, joy and cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Is it okay if I come and ‘like’ this one again? He may be more stunning than our cardinal. Or at least AS stunning, in a different color. Hope you’re having a fantastic summer, Christy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Shannon, you are welcome to pepper any post how many ever times you see fit, more the merrier I say.

      Definitely only as stunning. The cardinal’s crest though is unmatchable!

      Summer has been both sheepish and sultry, not a very good one. But on its last legs now, and I hope for a much nicer few months.

      Hope you and the familia extraordinare have been peachy and in great health and spirits ❤


  3. The blues flee,
    When this blue I see 🙂
    Pwetty as you puhleeeezz
    Such a beauty they eeezzzz 🙂

    Sigh. Sorry for that chryme I committed there. Your verse, and the way you speak of them birds with so much camaraderie… 🙂 I love that. Do you speak about them at schools? You should. I know for certain, how much you could reach out and bring some sensitivity in them as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t be sorry about birdy inclinations ever! At least not here.

      Thank you for your compliments and the vote of confidence. But I don’t do any such thing. In fact I share my love for birds with only those online. Only those on my Facebook list have a vague idea as to my passion for it. Of course I would love to talk to children about it (big smile)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I saw this one recently…I mailed it…does it call out “toowheeettoooooooooo tooo tooo?” Sorry…can’t describe it more. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww if it was a blue flycatcher, it must have been a blue-throated or an ultramarine flycatcher (found in your area)! The Nilgiri fellas are endemic to Western Ghats I think.

      Have you emailed it to me? Yaaay will check it out sushi!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh no. Wrong number. It was a very restless fellow though. Please get back to me. Or I will flood your inbox with more Owl posts not from Hogwarts 😛

        Liked by 1 person

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