Northern Black Flycatchers (Melaenornis edolioides)

The Northern Black Flycatchers, Melaenornis edolioides, is a small passerine bird in the flycatcher family Muscicapidae.

Distribution / Habitat:

This is an insectivorous species that is a resident breeder in tropical Africa from Senegal to Ethiopia and south to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) and Tanzania.

The Northern Black Flycatchers are found in moist wooded areas and cultivation. It nests in a hole or reuses the old nest of another species, and lays two or three eggs. Breeding takes place in the wet season.


The Northern Black Flycatcher is 20 cm long. It is a large upright long-tailed flycatcher. The adult is uniformly black. Juveniles are blackish-brown with buff scaling.

The long square-ended tail helps to distinguish this species from two other all-black insectivores, the Fork-tailed Drongo and the shorter-tailed and red-eyed Square-tailed Drongo.


This flycatcher has a simple musical song and a thin tsee-whee call.

Photo of author

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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