Spotted flycatchers are a menace to all flying insects. From a high vantage point, they perch upright and alert waiting patiently for an unsuspecting insect to fly past. Once spotted, the insect has no chance. The flycatcher launches from its perch, snapping its perfect, fly-catching bill shut like a trap. Spotted flycatchers make a sound not unlike a squeaky cartwheel, and might sound out of place in the woodlands and parks of Europe and western Asia. They arrive in the UK to breed after a long migration from a winter spent in central Africa.
Scientific name: Muscicapa striata
Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
The following habitats are found across the Spotted 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
The Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata) is a small passerine bird in the Old World flycatcher family. It breeds in most of Europe and western Asia, and is migratory, wintering in Africa and south western Asia. It is declining in parts of its range.
This is an undistinguished looking bird with long wings and tail. The adults have grey-brown upperparts and whitish underparts, with some streaking on the breast. The legs are short and black, and the bill is black and has the broad but pointed shape typical of aerial insectivores. Juveniles are browner than adults and show the spots on the upperparts which give this species its name.