The Black-headed Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone rufiventer), also known as the Red-bellied Paradise-flycatcher, is a medium-sized passerine bird.
However, the Red-bellied Paradise-flycatcher is a common resident breeder in tropical western Africa south of the Sahara Desert. This species is usually found in thick forests and other well-wooded habitats. Two eggs are laid in a tiny cup nest in a tree.
The adult male of this species is about 17 cm long, but the long tail streamers nearly double the birds length. It has a black head, and the rest of the plumage is chestnut, other than a prominent black wingbar. The female is duller and lacks the tail streamers. Young birds are plain brown.
The males show considerable variation in plumage in some areas. There is a morph of this species in which the male has the chestnut parts of the plumage replaced by white, and some races have black tail streamers.
The Red-bellied Paradise-flycatcher is a noisy bird with a sharp zweetcall. It has short legs and sits very upright whilst perched prominently, like a shrike. It is insectivorous, often hunting by flycatching.
The black-bellied African Paradise-flycatcher, Terpsiphone viridis, is closely related to this species, and hybrids occur with the underparts a mixture of black and red.