Pied Flycatcher Facts - Information About Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher - Ficedula Hypoleuca
The Pied Flycatcher is a summer migrant to the UK.
As the name suggests, it feeds on flies that are caught by making a quick dash from an obvious perch. There are around 40, 000 pairs in the UK each summer. The Pied Flycatcher is a small unmistakable bird that often sits with drooped wings. It spends its winter in Africa.
- Adult males and females share the same plumage pattern but are different colours.
- Male Pied Flycatchers are small and chunky,13cm in length and are black and white all over, they are quite unmistakable.
- The upperparts are black and white, tail is black with white base to outer tail feathers, rump is a slightly paler, back is jet black, wings are black with white wing patch (tertials)
- The nape and head is black except for small white patch above the black bill.
- Chin and throat white, extending to form a half collar.
- The entire underparts are white, ie; chin, throat, breast, belly and undertail coverts.
- Legs, bill and eye black.
- Females are brown versions of the male although tail is dark, no obvious white patch over the bill and the collar is less distinct.
- Juveniles appear from June onwards as they are a late migrant; they are a similar to adult females.
- Young birds of either sex look like females, i.e. brown above, white below with darker tail and often a buffish breast.
- Bill, legs and eye black.
Status and Distribution
The Pied Flycatcher is a breeding summer migrant, it arrives in May and departs September. In the UK we have around 40,000 pairs. The Pied Flycatcher occurs in all counties throughout the UK, mainly with a westerly bias. It does not breed in Ireland.
Like Spotted Flycatchers, Pied Flycatchers occur in many habitat types throughout the UK as long as there are deciduous trees; they prefer open areas in which to catch flies.
Woodlands, parks, gardens, farmland, hedgerows, indeed any open country habitat with trees can be attractive to flycatchers.
Several call notes; main call is a single ‘chet’, alarm is a repeated sharp metallic ‘tic’.
Song is a loud series of repeated notes, ‘peechee peechee peechee’ followed by a combination of liquid notes.