European Pied Flycatcher
Ficedula hypoleuca - Gobemouche noir
- Size: 13 cm
- Wingspan: 21 à 24 cm.
- Weight: 9 à 15 g
The adult European Pied Flycatcher shows a clear sexual dimorphism. However this species can show variability in male plumage in different regions, ranging from the typical black and white plumage shared by other males of its genus, to a much less contrasted one which is rather similar to the female's. The female's plumage is invariable, featuring brown and white. The determination of a black and white European Pied Flycatcher male requires careful attention since 4 species of the genus have this type of male, 3 of them being European and 2 of them French. The male, in its nuptial black and white plumage, has black upperparts and white underparts; a white forehead patch and a large and elongated wing patch are quite visible on the black feathers. Its black tail is bordered with white at the base. Its dark eye is easily merged with its black environment. Its beak and legs are black. The palest male, e.g. the one nesting sympatrically with the Collared Flycatcher, has (lighter) grayish-brown upperparts and a smaller forehead patch which is sometimes divided in two. The post-nuptial male looks like a female but with more white on its wings. The female has brown upperparts with wings and tail darker, its underparts look like dull white slightly tinted with grayish-brown on the throat and chest. Its forehead is brown. The white wing patch is much less contrastive and discontinuous. The juvenile has a spotted look like many Muscicapid juveniles, due to the dark edging on its upper and lower patterns. The species can be identified by its white patches on its wings and tail. When migrating post-nuptially, after the moulting, all individuals tend to look more alike.
Subspecific information 3 subspecies
- Ficedula hypoleuca hypoleuca (w and n Europe to the Ural Mts.)
- Ficedula hypoleuca iberiae (Iberian Pen.)
- Ficedula hypoleuca sibirica (w and sc Siberia)
- Gobemouche noir,
- Papamoscas cerrojillo,
- kormos légykapó,
- Bonte Vliegenvanger,
- Balia nera,
- svartvit flugsnappare,
- Svarthvit fluesnapper,
- muchárik čiernohlavý,
- lejsek černohlavý,
- Broget Fluesnapper,
- muchołówka żałobna,
- melnais mušķērājs,
- črnoglavi muhar,
Voice song and cries
The song of the European Pied Flycatcher is typically muscicapidÃ©. It should be imagined coming from an old, leafy or mixed woodland. It is a short, stereotyped, but melodious and somewhat melancholic phrase. It is similar to the song of the White-fronted Redstart. It is repeated at regular intervals. It must be well remembered for an effective search of this species. The alarm call on the territory is a repeated pit or pjit. It makes one think of a distant call of the Blackbird. During migration, it can produce high-pitched cries srrii.
For nesting, the European Pied Flycatcher searches for mature natural woodland that can provide it with favourable cavities.
Behaviour character trait
The European Pied Flycatcher is a territorial species whose male members do not tolerate the presence of members of the same sex in their territory.
The European Pied Flycatcher is a long distance migrant whose breeding and wintering grounds are disjoint. It therefore has the long wings of a migratory bird and its migratory flights are done at night. Its skill in flight is of course also useful in its daytime hunting of insects. It is capable of making short hovering flights to locate its prey.
The European Pied Flycatcher's flying abilities allow it to hunt for both flying preys and those resting on the ground or in vegetation at all heights in the forest.
The arrival at the breeding sites takes place at the middle of April and continues into May, depending on the latitude and local conditions.
The European Pied Flycatcher can be found in the breeding season from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean and Black Sea in the south, and from the Atlantic to close to Mongolia in Russia in the east. Thus, it is mostly a European bird. It is less frequent in the southern part of the continent. In France, it is predominant in the northeast. It spends its winters in Africa south of the Sahara, from Senegal to the north of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Threats - protection
IUCN conservation status
in the Wild
For now, the species is not threatened. However, the impending climate changes could affect it, either directly or indirectly through their impact on the forest and entomofauna.
Sources of information
- IOC World Bird List (v13.1), Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2023.
- An Atlas of the Birds of the Western Palearctic, Colin Harrison
- Les Passereaux Vol. III des pouillots aux moineaux, Paul Géroudet
Translation by AI Oiseaux.net
published: 17-02-2023 - Updated: 16-03-2023
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