Pied flycatcher

Ficedula hypoleuca

SUBFAMILY

Muscicapinae

TAXONOMY

Ficedula hypoleuca Pallas, 1764. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: European pied flycatcher; French: Gobemouche noir; German: Trauerschnäpper; Spanish: Papamoscas Cerrojillo.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The body length is 5 in (13-14 cm). The male is colored strikingly black-and-white, with a black back and head, a white belly and throat, and white wing-flashes. The female and juvenile are gray above, with a white belly and throat, and white wing-flashes. The winter male is colored more grayish.

DISTRIBUTION

Breeds widely in northern and central Europe and European Russia, and winters in western 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 loud 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, 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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