The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Spotted Flycatcher

Afrikaans name: Europese vlieëvanger

Spotted Flycatcher

Above - Spotted Flycatcher

Photo © Steven Herbert

Muscicapa striata

The Spotted Flycatcher is a non-breeding migrant to South Africa during our summer. Individuals ringed in countries as far away as Finland have been recorded in South Africa. Not bad for a tiny bird!

The Spotted Flycatcher is quite similar to the African Dusky Flycatcher, which is found in South Africa all year round, but the distinct streaks on the top of its head help to identify it.

Normally these birds are seen sitting patiently on an exposed perch low down in a tree or bush. From there they fly out to catch their food which mainly comprises of small insects.

Although they are not shy birds they tend to be overlooked as they keep quiet and sit very still for periods of time.

They prefer more open habitats such as woodland and savanna but are also found in parks and gardens.

References and further reading

LBJs - Author: Newman, Johnson, Solomon, Masterson - Published: 1998 - Page: 50

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 362

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 362

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 350

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 453

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 466

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 602

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 600

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 342

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 370

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 90

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 277

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 156

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 59

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 56

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 67

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 178

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 90

Geoff Lockwoods Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Published: 0 - Page: 137

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 260

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 186

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 186

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 101

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 216

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 53

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 231

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 53

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 250

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