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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, Jouko Lehmuskallio, Kari Pihlaviita. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Spotted Flycatcher

Muscicapa striata

  • Family: Flycatchers – Muscicapidae
  • Appearance: A greyish flycatcher with an upright posture and no clear distinguishing markings. Upper parts grey-brown; underparts pale, with some indistinct streaks on breast. Wings and tail fairly long; head large and rounded.
  • Size: Length 13.5–15 cm, weight 13–19 g.
  • Nest: May nest in many different kinds of places: holes in trees or buildings, open nest-boxes, tree boughs. Loose nests made of moss, lichen and grasses, lined with hair, feathers, root fibres, pieces of string or paper, etc.
  • Breeding: Lays 2–7 eggs May-June. Only females incubate, for 12–14 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 10–16 days.
  • Distribution: Breeds in sparsely wooded forests, parks and gardens throughout Finland. Finnish breeding population estimated at 1–1.7 million pairs (among the 10 most common bird species in Finland).
  • Migration: Migrates by night. Autumn migration August-September, returning May-June. Spends the winter in tropical regions of Africa.
  • Diet: Invertebrates.
  • Calls: Sharp alarm call “tsri”. Simple song.

Spotted Flycatchers are among Finland’s most common birds. They are small and rather drab-looking with grey-brown upper parts and paler greyish underparts. Their caps and chests are marked with indistinct streaks and spots. Their wings and tails are longish, and their heads look fairly large and rounded. Their legs are black. Their beaks are wide at the base and mainly black with brownish colouring on the base of the lower mandible. Their irises are dark brown.

Spotted Flycatchers typically sit with an almost upright posture on the edge of open areas looking out for small flying insects. They fly off after their insect prey, and typically return to the same perch.

Other species from the same family

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