Semi-collared Flycatchers

Semi-collared Flycatchers (Ficedula semitorquata)

The Semi-collared Flycatchers, Ficedula semitorquata, is a small passerine bird in the Old World flycatcher family, one of the four species of Western Palearctic black-and-white flycatchers.

Semi-collared Flycatchers  on a Tree Branch
Semi-collared Flycatchers on a Tree Branch

Distribution / Range

It breeds in the southeastern corner of Europe, the Middle East and southwestern Asia. It is migratory, wintering in Africa. It is a rare vagrant in western Europe.

Semi-collared Flycatchers are birds of belts of deciduous woodlands, especially Oak and Hornbeam, in mountainous areas.


This is a 12-13.5 cm long bird, intermediate in appearance between Collared Flycatcher and European Pied Flycatcher. It has often been classed as a subspecies of Collared Flycatcher.

The breeding male is mainly black above and white below, with a white half-collar, extending further back than in Pied, large white wing patch, extensively white tail sides and a large white forehead patch. It has a pale grey rump. The bill is black and has the broad but pointed shape typical of aerial insectivores. It mainly takes insects in flight, rarely hunting caterpillars amongst the tree foliage like Pied Flycatcher.

Non-breeding male, females and juvenile Semi-collared Flycatchers have the black replaced by a pale brown, and may be very difficult to distinguish from other Fidecula flycatchers, particularly the Collared Flycatcher. A distinction is that Semi-collared may show a white second wing bar, but many individuals are not separable in the field.

Nesting / Breeding

They build an open nest in a tree hole, and 4-7 eggs are laid.

Calls / Vocalization

The song is again intermediate between Collared and Pied Flycatchers, with slow strained whistles, but some rhythmic elements.


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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