Species: Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)

Family: Old World Flycatchers (MUSCICAPIDAE)

Category: Birds

Location: Widespread

A. Birds

More extensive information on birds can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Old World Flycatchers (MUSCICAPIDAE)

Old world flycatchers are a large family of passerine (perching) birds. They are mostly insectivorous and eat on the wing, as the name suggests.

Most flycatchers in Europe and Asia are migratory, leaving their northern breeding grounds for the winter months to find insects in the warmer south. Patterns of migration are evolving, with birds not moving so far south, and a few individuals even overwintering on their breeding grounds.

C. Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)

Spotted Flycatchers have grey-brown upper parts and a paler, off-white breast. Their breasts and foreheads are streaked - or striated, hence the second word in their Latin name. They prefer woodland edges and are conspicuous perchers, patiently watching for passing insects. Their insect-catching behaviour is unforgettable in that they fly up and out to snap up their prey, before landing back on the same perch. They have adopted this repetitive feeding behaviour, which is worth you watching out for. Their diet includes flies, bees, wasps and ants.

This bird averages 14 centimetres in length and has a wingspan of 24 centimetres. They arrive in Britain in April and May, and depart in August to mid-October. It winters in tropical Africa, but breeds here and in Europe.

Following recent years of documented population decline, the Spotted Flycatcher has conservation status of RED.

The Spotted Flycatcher is listed on the IUCN Birds of Conservation Concern: Red List. It is classed as a UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species. It is protected under Section 41 of The Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act, 2006, and is also on the Sussex Notable Bird List.

Images

Spotted Flycatcher

The insect-catching behaviour of Spotted Flycatchers is unforgettable in that they fly up and out to snap up their prey, before landing back on the same perch. They have adopted this repetitive feeding behaviour, which is worth you watching out for. Their diet includes flies, bees, wasps and ants.