Bigamy is common among pied flycatchers. A male bird will help rear the chicks of two females simultaneously, usually in two separate territories. The male often brings more food to the first mate than the second. But despite this favouritism and even though the secondary female may have been tricked into mating with an already-paired male, her chicks may reap a genetic benefit. The fittest males are first to secure a mate, using complicated songs and striking black and white plumage to attract attention. Fickle fathers are also more likely to be cheated on and may unwittingly raise chicks that are not their own. Pied flycatchers range across most of Europe and into Russia. They are summer visitors to the UK, breeding in Wales and north-west England.
Scientific name: Ficedula hypoleuca
European pied flycatcher
The following habitats are found across the Pied flycatcher distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Year assessed: 2009
Classified by: IUCN 3.1