Spotted flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)

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A summer migrant, the spotted flycatcher is given its name due to its trait of catching invertebrates in flight.

Common name: spotted flycatcher

Scientific name: Muscicapa striata
Family: Muscicapidae (flycatchers)

Appearance

Head: grey-brown in colouration with markings on the crown. 

Wings: grey-brown in colour with lighter coloured markings along feather edges.

Body: the upper body has a grey-brown plumage and the underparts are white-grey in colouration with a streaked pattern present on the bird’s breast. 

Where to spot

Throughout the UK during the summer months, except for some areas of Scotland. This migrant species arrives in May and can be found along woodland edges or clearings and parkland where sufficient trees are present.

Feeding

It often feeds on flying insects, such as damselflies, but when these resources are low they will forage among vegetation.

Breeding

A clutch of four to five eggs is laid in a nest constructed with twigs and grass. Nesting places vary but are built in a sheltered crevice, such as in a wall or amidst ivy. Chicks will fledge at 13 to 16 days old.

Facts

  • Frequently hunts from a favoured perch, like a tree branch, for its flying invertebrate prey.
  • This species is often the last migrant bird species to reach the UK for the summer months before departing to Africa from July to August.
  • Spotted flycatchers have also been known to catch butterflies in flight.
Owl on a tree branch
Kestrel in flight

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