Spotted Flycatcher

Muscicapa striata


Spotted Flycatchers are medium-sized songbirds of open woodland, parks and gardens. They have a relatively long tail which is often flicked while they sit patiently on a perch waiting for a chance to fly out to catch their insect-prey mid-air. During the breeding season, they can be seen across the UK, but leave here in August for their wintering grounds in tropical Africa. Passage migrants can be seen in September.

How to identify

A streaky, greyish-brown bird, the Spotted Flycatcher is pale underneath, with a streaky crown and breast.

Where to find it

A widespread summer visitor.


When to find it

  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

The Spotted Flycatcher has suffered dramatic declines recently. To help protect our breeding birds, The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with farmers, landowners and developers to promote wildlife-friendly practices. We are working towards a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Spotted Flycatcher
Latin name
Muscicapa striata
Thrushes, chats, flycatchers, starling, dipper and wren
Length: 14cm Wingspan: 24cm Weight: 17g Average Lifespan: 2 years
Conservation status
Classified in the UK as a Red List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review and as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.