Little slaty flycatcher

Ficedula basilanica

SUBFAMILY

Muscicapinae

TAXONOMY

Ficedula basilanica Sharpe, 1877. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Gobemouche de Basilan; German: Schiefergrundschnäpper; Spanish: Papamoscas Pizarro Chico.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The body length is about 5 in (12 cm). The male is colored slate-gray on the back, head, and tail and has a white belly. The female is more brownish.

DISTRIBUTION

Vulnerable. A rare, endemic, nonmigratory species that only occurs on the islands of Samar, Leyte, Dinagat, Mindanao, and Basilan in the Philippine archipelago.

HABITAT

Occurs in lowland, humid, evergreen, primary and mature secondary tropical forest, including selectively logged areas. It selects microhabitat within the dense forest understorey. It occurs over the altitudinal range of sea level to 3,900 ft (0-1,200 m).

BEHAVIOR

A nonmigratory species. Pairs of breeding birds defend a territory. A quiet, skulking species of the forest understory. The song is a series of warbling phrases.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Searches from a low perch for flying insects.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Builds a cup-shaped nest.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable. A rare and declining species. Much of its original natural habitat has been lost to the development of subsistence agriculture, commercial plantations, logging, mining, and in one place, a golf course. Some of its breeding habitat occurs in protected areas, but is not necessarily safe from disturbance there. Areas of its critical breeding habitat must be protected.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

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

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