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Conservation status: Red

At first glance, spotted flycatchers might seem dull brownish-grey and - well - a bit boring. It's better to think of them as beautiful in an understated way. Watch them for a short period and you'll be charmed by their fly-catching antics. Spotted flycatchers fly from a high perch, dash out to grab a flying insect and return to the same spot.



Latin name

Muscicapa striata


Flycatchers (Muscicapidae)

Where to see them

Churchyards, cemeteries, parks and mature gardens are good places. Spotted flycatchers are often found in woodland with open glades – good for catching insects. During the breeding season spotted flycatchers can be found throughout the UK, although they are scarce in the far north and west and almost absent from Scottish islands. High densities are found from Devon and Kent as far north as Scotland.

When to see them

They're one of the later spring migrants to arrive, not turning up until late April or early May. They leave around September.

What they eat

Flying insects, such as moths, butterflies, damselflies, craneflies and other tasty morsels. If the weather is bad, they can search trees and shrubs for other insect food.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-36,000 territories--




Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto

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