Its spotted and it catches flies! This is the familiar flycatcher over most of Europe - but only in the summer for this is a long distance migrant with birds wintering to the furthest South of Africa. It goes into areas of wooded savannah and into forests too.
It arrives late in the breeding area for it depends on there being a good supply of flying insects. It breeds in open wooded areas and gardens can be ideal. The bird is a browny-grey with spotted breast and flanks only lightly marked and easy to miss. Very upright stance and forages from a perch to catch a flying insect and back again.
Moults in Africa from outermost primary inwards - a strategy unique to its family amongst passerines. There are over 100 species of Old World flycatchers and they are not related to the many New World ones. Population in decline at present and possibly as few as 100,000 territories now occupied in Britain and Ireland.
Common flycatcher in Europe.
Length 145 mm Closed wing 86 mm Weight 17 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead