Collared flycatcher

Ficedula albicollis

SUBFAMILY

Muscicapinae

TAXONOMY

Ficedula albicollis Temminck, 1795.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Half-collared flycatcher; semicollared flycatcher; French: Gobemouche a collier; German: Halsbandschnäpper; Spanish: Papamoscas Collarino.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The body length is about 4.5 in (11.5 cm), with the male colored black-and-white, with a black back and head, an intervening white collar at the nape, a white belly and throat, and white wing-flashes. The female and juvenile are gray with a white belly and throat and white wing-flashes. The winter male is colored more grayish. Various subspecies have been described based on plumage and song characters.

DISTRIBUTION

Breeds widely in Europe, and winters in eastern equatorial Africa.

HABITAT

Breeds in temperate forest, woods, parks, orchards, and gardens.

BEHAVIOR

A migratory species. Pairs of breeding birds defend a territory. Winters as single birds. Often raises its fanned tail while perched. The song is delivered from a prominent perch, and is a varied series of soft trills.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Catches flying insects by an aerial sally from a prominent perch. Usually returns persistently to the same perch.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Nests in a tree-cavity or holes in rock walls, and also uses nest-boxes. Lays five to seven blue eggs.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. A widespread and locally abundant species.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

None known, except for the economic benefits of bird-watching. ♦

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