[order] Passeriformes | [family] Muscicapidae | [latin] Ficedula hypoleuca | [UK] Pied Flycatcher | [FR] Gobemouche noir | [DE] Trauerschnäpper | [ES] Papamoscas Cerrojillo | [IT] Balia nera | [NL] Bonte Vliegenvanger

Bonte Vliegenvanger determination

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Close in size to Collared Flycatcher and Semi-collared Flycatcher, though with marginally shorter wings. Small to medium-sized, rather compact flycatcher. Adult male breeding pied, other plumages essentially dun-brown above and dun-white below. All have white-edged tail and dark wings with bold but narrow white lines on tertial edges and across inner part. Sexes dissimilar in breeding plumage, marked seasonal variation in male.

In west Palearctic, breeds in higher latitudes than other Ficedula, in temperate but also in boreal and Mediterranean zones, mainly in lowlands or hilly country. In north Africa breeds at 1200-1800 m in forests of cedar, oak and Aleppo pine.

Ficedula hypoleuca is a widespread summer visitor to much of Europe (occurring more patchily in the south and west), with the region constituting >75% of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is extremely large (>12,000,000 pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990. Although the species declined in several countries during 1990-2000—most notably in Fennoscandia—the stronghold population in Russia and other eastern populations were stable, and the species declined only slightly overall.

Arthropods, flying and non-flying, especially Hymenoptera, Diptera, and beetles. During breeding seazon, larval Lepidoptera important. Fruit and seeds taken regularly in small amounts in late summer and on migration, and when feeding conditions poor. Obtains food directly from trees or ground or by sallying out from perch after flying prey, usually for short distance.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 10,000,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 24,000,000-39,000,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

In Central Europe eggs laid late April to early June. North-west Africa the eggs are present first week of May to first week of June. In England the egg laying starts between end of April and mid-May, in Sweden eggs are laid late May to end of June, in the Moscow region laying starts early May to mid-June and Finnish Lapland it starts mid-June. Generally 1 brood is hatched, 2 broods recorded only in England and Moscow region. Nest is a hole, preferrably of woodpecker, a rot-hole caused by lost branch, and particularly in Scandinavia in old hole of Willow Tit. Nest: is a rough loose foundation of leaves, roots, fragments of bark, and grass; cup lined with feathers, wool, thin flakes of bark, hair, grass, fine roots, etc. Clutch: 6-7 (5-8) and decreasing as season progresses, the eggs are incubated for 13-15 days, the youbng fledge after 14-17 days.

Long-distance migrant, wintering in West Africa, south of the Sahara and mainly north of Gulf of Guinea, where various woodland habitats are utilized. No satisfactory records anywhere east of northern Zaïre and Central African Republic. On autumn migration, major stopover and fattening area in Iberia (mainly north-west) and probably northern Italy. Thus many northern migrants move far to west before turning south. ) failed breeders may migrate early, in June or early July. Normal autumn movements start late July or early August. Passage through Gibraltar from mid-August to end of October, chiefly September. Spring migration begins in March. Passage through Mediterranean peaks mid-April to early May. Return to breeding areas mid- to late April in southern sites, but up to mid-May in north.