Ranging in most major Philippine islands (except in Palawan and Bohol), this endemic bird is not very difficult to find in forest and edge at various elevations.
But it’s quite small (113 mm total length) and very active, hence a tough customer to photograph well. Likewise, its contrasting plumage presents a daunting exposure challenge.
This bird doesn’t only look elegantly good, its song and call are very pleasing to the ears as well.
After trying for years to get a good capture, I finally got close to this bird at Mt. Data, with sweet late afternoon sunlight as bonus.
Elegant Tit (Parus elegans, a Philippine endemic)
Habitat – Common from lowland to montane mossy forest.
Found nowhere else in the world but in Luzon and some islands in the Visayas, this fantail prefers to stay in the dark understory. There, its colorful plumage is often not seen in full glory because of the dim lighting.
I got lucky to catch this bird in the open, under partial early morning light, while I was birding at a mountain trail in the Cordillera mountains (North Luzon). The bird is not large, measuring just 180 mm in total length from the tip of the long tail to the tip of bill.
Blue-headed Fantail (Rhipidura cyaniceps, a Philippine endemic)
Habitat – Forest up to 2000 m.