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Spotted Flycatcher - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by John M
Scotland, May 2006
Muscicapa striata

Includes: Mediterranean Flycatcher


Photo © by markranner
Tomintoul, Scotland, July 2019

L 13.5-14.5 cm (5¼-5¾ in)
Small to medium sized, rather slim passerine. Lacks any obvious features though in profile it has a rounded crown and the head appears rather large. Greyish brown upperparts and off-white underparts with dark streaking on the breast and sides of throat as well as the forehead and forecrown.
It has a dark bill and black, short legs, dark eyes with narrow pale eye-ring.
Sexes are alike.


Found in Europe, North Africa and east to Siberia, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Mongolia to south-east Transbaikalia.

Found throughout Britain and Ireland but are far more scarce in the north of Scotland and the west coast of Ireland. Their numbers have declined terribly since the sixties. A summer visitor that winters in Africa.

Accidental to Alaska with 1 record.



Photo © by Digiscoper321
West Sweden, August 2017

There are seven subspecies[1]:

  • M. s. striata:
  • M. s. neumanni:
  • M. s. balearica:
  • M. s. tyrrhenica:
  • M. s. sarudnyi:
  • M. s. inexpectata:
  • Crimean Peninsula
  • M. s. mongola:
  • South-eastern Altai to northern Mongolia to south-eastern Transbaikalia

Gill and Donsker split balearica and tyrrhenica as Mediterranean Flycatcher (Muscicapa tyrrhenica).


Breeds in gardens, parks and in forests, often appearing to prefer spots with small glades and openings among tall deciduous trees.


Has an upright posture and usually sits with tail flicking whilst it watches for flying Insects, then quickly flies out to snap it's prey and returns, often to the same tree branch, post or wire fence.


Almost entirely consists of small flying insects.


Nests in recess on tree trunk or building, often against a wall on branch of climbing shrub. Will also readily occupy open-fronted boxes.

The nest is made up of twigs, moss and grass and is then usually lined with hair, wool and feathers. One or two clutches of whitish, or blue-grey eggs, with reddish brown blotches are produced. They are incubated for about 2 weeks, the young being fed by both adults, mainly on small flies. They fledge after a further 2 weeks.

The breeding season runs from May to August.



  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2017. IOC World Bird Names (version 7.1). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Bird Watching
  4. BF Member observations
  5. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2016)

Recommended Citation

External Links

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