Collared Flycatcher

The Collared Flycatcher, Ficedula albicollis, is a small passerine bird in the Old World flycatcher family, one of the four species of Western Palearctic black-and-white flycatchers. It breeds in southeast Europe and southwest Asia and is migratory, wintering in Africa. It is a rare vagrant in western Europe.

They are birds of deciduous woodlands, parks and gardens, with a preference for oak trees.


This is a 12-13.5 cm long bird. The breeding male is mainly black above and white below, with a white collar, large white wing patch, white tail sides and a large white forehead patch. It has a pale rump.

Non-breeding males, females and juveniles have the black replaced by a pale brown, and may be very difficult to distinguish from other Fidecula flycatchers, particularly the Pied Flycatcher, with which it will hybridise.

The bill is black and has the broad but pointed shape typical of aerial insectivores.

Diet / Feeding

As well as taking insects in flight, this species hunts caterpillars amongst the oak foliage, and will take berries.

Breeding / Nesting

They build an open nest in a tree hole, and will readily adapt to an open-fronted nest box. 4-7 eggs are laid.

Calls / Vocalization

The song is slow strained whistles, quite unlike the Pied Flycatcher.

Photo of author

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