Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher, Grauwe Vliegenvanger, Grauschnäpper, Papa-moscas-cinzento, Papamoscas Gris

Spotted on our property Monte Horizonte in the Alentejo Region of Portugal.        Spotted Flycatcher sound

The Spotted Flycatcher, Muscicapa striata, is a small passerine bird in the Old World flycatcher family. It breeds in most of Europe and western Asia, and is migratory, wintering in Africa and south western Asia. It is declining in parts of its range.

Spotted Flycatcher, Grauwe Vliegenvanger, Grauschnapper, Papa-moscas-cinzento, Papamoscas Gris

This is an undistinguished looking bird with long wings and tail. The adults have grey-brown upperparts and whitish underparts, with some streaking on the breast. The legs are short and black, and the bill is black and has the broad but pointed shape typical of aerial insectivores. Juveniles are browner than adults and show the spots on the upperparts which give this species its name.

Spotted Flycatchers hunt from conspicuous perches, making sallies after passing flying insects, and often returning to the same perch. Their upright posture is characteristic.

They are birds of deciduous woodlands, parks and gardens, with a preference for open areas amongst trees. They build an open nest in a suitable recess, often against a wall, and will readily adapt to an open-fronted nest box. 4-6 eggs are laid.

Interestingly, most European birds cannot discriminate between their own eggs and those of other species. The exception to this are the hosts of the Common Cuckoo, which have had to evolve this skill as a protection against that nest parasite. Spotted Flycatcher shows excellent egg recognition, and it is likely that it was once a host of the Cuckoo, but became so good at recognising the intruder’s eggs that it ceased to be victimised. A contrast to this is the Dunnock, which appears to be a recent Cuckoo host, since it does not show any egg discrimination.

The flycatcher’s call is a thin, drawn out soft and high pitched tssssseeeeeppppp, slightly descending in pitch.

Other synonyms:

Afrikaans: Europese Vlieevanger, Europese Vlieëvanger
Asturian: Mosqueru
Breton: Ar flouper kelien
Catalan: Papamosques, Papamosques gris
Catalan (Balears): Papamosques
Czech: Lejsek šedý
Welsh: Cylionydd, Gwybedog, Gwybedog ddu a gwyn, Gwybedog mannog, Gwybedwr brith, Gwybedwr mannog, Pryfetwr brith
Danish: Grå fluesnapper
German: Grauer Fliegenschnäpper, Grauschnaepper, Grauschnäpper
English: Brown-streaked Flycatcher, European Spotted Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher
Spanish: Papamoscas Gris, Papamoscas pardo
Estonian: Hall-kärbsenäpp
Basque: Euli-txori gris, Euli-txori grisa, Papamosques gris
Finnish: Harmaasieppo
Faroese: Gránápur
French: Gobemouche gris
Frisian: Feale Miggesnapper
Irish: Cuilire Liath, Cuilsealgaire
Gaelic: Breacan Glas
Galician: Papamoscas cincento, Papamosques gris
Manx: Skybbyltagh breck
Croatian: Muharica, Siva muharica
Hungarian: Szürke légykapó
Armenian: Mokhraguyn Chanchvors
Icelandic: Grágrípur
Italian: Pigliamosche, Pigliamosche comune, Pigliamosche europeo
Japanese: Muna-fu hitaki, munafuhitaki
Cornish: Gwybessor bryth
Latin: Muscicapa striata
Dutch: Grauwe Vliegenvanger, Vliegenvanger
Norwegian: Grå fluesnapper, Gråfluesnapper
Polish: Mucholówka szara
Portuguese: papa moscas cinzento, Papa-moscas-cinzento
Romansh: Sgnappamustgas grisch
Russian: Seraya Mukholovka>
Scots: Breac glas sgiobalta
Northern Sami: Ráneslivkkár
Slovak: muchár sivý, Muchárik sivý
Slovenian: sivi muhar
Albanian: Mizakapësi i përhimë
Sotho, Southern: Kapantsi-tubatubi
Swedish: Grå flugsnappare, Grå flugsnäppare
Swahili: Shore Kidari-michirizi
Turkish: Benekli sinekkapan, Çizgili Sinekkapan, Lekeli Sinek-Yutan


Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Vacation Portugal for birders guided birdwatching Tours and Trips.

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Guided Birdwatching in the Alentejo region of Portugal