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European Pied Flycatcher - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Rob
Vaasse, The Netherlands, May 2003
Ficedula hypoleuca


Collared Flycatcher, Semicollared Flycatcher, Atlas Flycatcher.

Photo by Chrysophylax
Dimmingsdale, UK June 2009

12-13 cm

  • Large white wing patches
  • White Underparts
  • White outer tail feathers

Breeding Male

  • Black upperparts
  • White forehead

Adult Female: olive-brown above and lacks white forehead


The most widespread and numerous of the three "pied" flycatchers of the Region. Breeds throughout most of Scandinavia and in mainland Europe from the Netherlands, Belgium and eastern France east to the Urals. Also breeds in parts of north and west Britain, at scattered sites in central and southern France, in central Iberia and in North-West Africa.

Migratory, leaving breeding areas in mid August-September to winter in West Africa and returns in mid April-June. Passage birds occur throughout most of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Occasional winter records from around the Mediterranean.

Vagrants recorded north to Svalbard, Iceland and Faroes, also Madeira and the Cape Verde Islands.


Subspecies iberiae
Photo © by Nunu
El Escorial, Madrid, Spain, May 2009


Back View
Photo © by jbpixels
Munich, Germany, 8 May 2024

Three to four subspecies usually recognized[1]:

  • F. h. hypoleuca:
  • F. h. iberiae: male has slightly larger white forehead patch
  • Iberian Peninsula; winters in west Africa (not accepted by all authorities)
  • F. h. sibirica (syn. tomensis): usually greyer than nominate but grey or brown individuals also occur commonly in Europe. [2]
  • Taiga of western Siberia (Ural Mountains to Yenisey River); winters to eastern Africa

Atlas Flycatcher has formerly been considered a subspecies of this species.


Photo © by Victor Tyakht
near Moscow, Russia, June 2008

Preferred habitat is mature deciduous woodland, especially oak, but also found in mixed and coniferous woodland in upland areas in south of range. Occurs in orchards and parks, sometimes large gardens and often in areas of scrub on passage.



They nest in a tree hole; 4-10 eggs are laid. They readily take to nest boxes.


The diet includes insects which are aerially hawked.



  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
  4. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

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