- A small, slim, elegant bird
- Mouse-brown topsides
- Lightly-streaked, whitish underparts
- Dashes after passing flying insects, including butterflies, often returning to the same perch
The song is a high-pitched warble - click on the recording below to listen:
Woods, parks and gardens, often seen sitting upright on a post or twig.
When to look for
A summer visitor from late April / early May.
Fabulous spotted flycatcher facts
- Spotted flycatchers are long-distance migrants. In July and August the tiny travellers head south-west through western France and Portugal before crossing the Mediterranean and making for West Africa and then Zaire
- They often come back year after year to nest in the same niche - a hole in the wall, a shaded ledge, or a fork of ivy, and in some cases the same nest is repaired and re-used again and again
- One of the few birds able to tell its own eggs from those of the cuckoo - because of this it is thought likely that the spotted flycatcher was once a host of the cuckoo, but became so good at recognising the intruder's eggs that it ceased to be victimised