Collared flycatcher

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Collared flycatcher
Collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis).jpg
Adult male
The song of a male Collared Flycatcher recorded in Slovakia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Ficedula
Species: F. albicollis
Binomial name
Ficedula albicollis
(Temminck, 1815)

The collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) is a small passerine bird in the Old World flycatcher family, one of the four species of Western Palearctic black-and-white flycatchers. It breeds in southeast Europe (isolated populations in the islands of Gotland and Oland in the Baltic Sea, Sweden) and southwest Asia and is migratory, wintering in sub Sahara Africa.[2] It is a rare vagrant in western Europe.

This is a 12-13.5 cm long bird. The breeding male is mainly black above and white below, with a white collar, large white wing patch, black tail (although some males have white tail sides) and a large white forehead patch. It has a pale rump. The bill is black and has the broad but pointed shape typical of aerial insectivores. As well as taking insects in flight, this species hunts caterpillars amongst the oak foliage, and will take berries.

Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

Non-breeding males, females and juveniles have the black replaced by a pale brown, and may be very difficult to distinguish from other Ficedula flycatchers, particularly the European pied flycatcher and the semicollared flycatcher, with which this species hybridizes to a limited extent.[3]

They are birds of deciduous woodlands, parks and gardens, with a preference for old trees with cavities in which it nests. They build an open nest in a tree hole, or man-made nest-boxes. Normally 5-7 eggs are laid. The song is slow strained whistles, quite unlike the pied flycatcher. Pied flycatchers can mimic the song of the collared flycatcher in sympatric populations.[4]

The genus name is from Latin and refers to a small fig-eating bird (ficus, "fig") supposed to change into the blackcap in winter. The specific albicollis is from Latin albus, white, and collum, "neck".[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Ficedula albicollis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Briedis, M.; Hahn, S.; Gustafsson, L.; Henshaw, I.; Träff, J.; Král, M.; Adamík, P. "Breeding latitude leads to different temporal but not spatial organization of the annual cycle in a long-distance migrant". Journal of Avian Biology. 47: 743–748. doi:10.1111/jav.01002. 
  3. ^ Veen T., Borge T., Griffith S.C., Saetre G.P., Bures S., Gustafsson L. & Sheldon B.C. (2001) "Hybridization and adaptive mate choice in flycatchers". Nature, 411, 45-50
  4. ^ J. Haavie', T. Borge, S. Bures, L. Z. Garamszegi, H. M. Lampe, J. Moreno, A. Qvarnström, J. Török, G.-P. Sætre (2004) "Flycatcher song in allopatry and sympatry - convergence, divergence and reinforcement". Journal of Evolutionary Biology 17 (2), 227–237.
  5. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. pp. 38, 167. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4. .

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