Pied flycatcher

Pied flycatcher male

Pied flycatcher ©Richard Steel/2020VISION

Pied flycatcher

©Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Pied flycatcher

Scientific name: Ficedula hypoleuca
The pied flycatcher is a summer visitor, migrating here from West Africa to breed. Look for this small, black-and-white bird in woodland, parks and gardens, mostly in the west of the UK.

Species information


Length: 12cm
Wingspan: 19cm
Weight: 12g
Average lifespan: 2 years

Conservation status

Classified in the UK as Red under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015).

When to see

April to September


The pied flycatcher is a small, black-and-white bird of mature woodland, parks and gardens, with a preference for oak trees.
It is a summer visitor from April and May onwards, and breeds mainly in western areas; it spends the winter in West Africa.
Pied flycatchers may be seen sitting patiently on a perch, waiting for a chance to fly out and catch their insect-prey mid-air. They also search for insects on tree trunks and on the ground.

How to identify

The pied flycatcher is slightly smaller than a house sparrow. Males are mostly black above and white below, with a bold white patch on the folded wing. Females have the same basic patterning, but are browner in colour.


Found mainly across the west of the UK.

Did you know?

Pied flycatchers time their spring migration to arrive just in time to feed their young on emerging caterpillars.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.