Mauritius Paradise Flycatchers (Tersiphone desolata) are endemic songbirds, which experienced population declines in Mauritius. This inquisitive bird, threatened due to habitat loss, has found refuge at Ebony Forest. You will often see two birds together as male and female birds pair to defend a territory and breed. Males can be distinguished from females by their iridescent blue ring around their eyes and a crest on their head. As the name suggests, paradise flycatchers are insectivores, often catching food in flight.
Soaring on the thermals, white-tailed tropic birds (Phaeton lepturus) are characteristic of the Ebony Forest skyline. These graceful seabirds perform acrobatic aerial manoeuvres. Identify them by their elongated white tail streamer and yellow bill.
Known locally as the pic-pic due to its distinctive call, this small songbird is often found in groups of 6 to 20 individuals. Its sociality is perhaps one of the reasons why the pic pic (Zosterops mauritianus) has adapted to suburban areas, when the other territorial endemic birds have not. Pic pics or Grey White-Eyes due to their grey plumage and distinctive white ring can often be seen hopping among the canopy of trees at Ebony Forest looking for nectar or insects.
This elusive endemic bird is found in few localities in Mauritius. Mauritius Black Bulbuls (Hypsipetes olivaceus) are highly territorial and are often only observed when they are noisily defending their territory from other birds. Not to be confused for the introduced Red-whiskered bulbul, the Mauritian Bulbul is larger and far less common.
Frequently confused with the Mascarene swiftlet, the Mascarene swallow (Phedina borbonica borbonica) is found in Le Reunion, Mauritius and Madagascar. Less elegant in flight that than the Mascarene swiftlet, these birds are best observed at Sublime Point.
Not to be confused for the Mascarene swallow, the Mascarene swiflet (Aerodramus francicus) also found in Le Reunion has longer, narrower wings and a much lighter flight. This species, which lives in caves, is frequently seen flying at Sublime Point. The collection of nests and vandalism of caves has led to population declines in Mauritius.