Named after the dedicated British ornithologist Samuel Tickell, this beautiful bird is found in the Indian subcontinent and throughout South East Asia.
The upperparts and blue, with a rufous breast and throat and white underparts, with the female being a little duller. Juveniles have spotted upperparts and streaked brown underparts. I have often seen them in pairs and with a juvenile, or singly on low branches of trees in forests, orchards, plantations and bamboo groves throughout the Western Ghats. They are often the first birds out in the morning, and are not very easy to spot and they stay well inside the undergrowth or inside trees and thickets.
They are insect eating birds, often catching them in flight. They are observed to catch and eat small frogs too. They breed between April and August, nesting in holes in trees or between rocks, lined with grass and fibre.
The Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher has a metallic call sound, short clicks followed by a few notes. They take frequent breaks to sing, and are a delight to track.