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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Did You Know? 21 Incredible Leaden Flycatcher Facts

Leaden Flycatcher Fact File

The leaden flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula) is a small blue or lead-colored songbird belonging to the family Monarchidae. It is mainly found in northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, and some parts of Indonesia. While the northern populations of this bird do not usually migrate, the southern populations move towards Queensland, Papua New Guinea, and other northern parts of Australia in the winter and return to the south for breeding purposes. Most songbirds of Australia are characterized by their repeated breeding attempts but a high failure rate. In the case of the leaden flycatcher, this rate is 23%, which means that only 23% of chicks grow into fledglings from all the nests in which eggs are laid in one breeding season. The leaden flycatchers are sexually dimorphic, which means that the males and females of this species differ from each other in appearance. This species of birds look very similar to the satin flycatcher and the broad-banded flycatcher with only minor differences in their appearance, which makes their identification very hard in the wild.

For more interesting facts about other birds, be sure to check out our palm warbler facts and Blackburnian warbler facts pages.

Leaden Flycatcher Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a leaden flycatcher?

The leaden flycatcher is a type of bird.

What class of animal does a leaden flycatcher belong to?

The leaden flycatcher is a bird belonging to the Monarchidae family, genus Myiagra, with the scientific name Myiagra rubecula.

How many leaden flycatchers are there in the world?

The exact number of leaden flycatchers in the world is unknown but they have a wide distribution across their range.

Where does a leaden flycatcher live?

This bird is found in the forests of Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. It is known to be migratory only in the region stretching from King Sound on the northwestern front of Australia through northern Australia to Queensland on the eastern coast.

What is a leaden flycatcher's habitat?

The leaden flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula) is found in tropical or subtropical dry forests, eucalypt forests, mangrove forests, and savannas. These birds usually prefer drier habitats than other similar birds, like the satin flycatcher.

Who do leaden flycatchers live with?

These flycatchers are sometimes known to stay in pairs and are often seen hunting for food in pairs as well. Moreover, both the male and female birds of this species incubate the eggs instead of just the female bird. Both of them are extremely protective and territorial towards their nest and fend off any intruders together.

How long does a leaden flycatcher live?

The lifespan of the birds of this species is unknown. However, their generation length is 4.2 years, which is the average number of years between two consecutive generations of a species.  

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for these birds starts from September and lasts till February. Two or three eggs are laid in a cup-shaped nest that is made from bark, dry grass, spider webs and is decorated with lichen. Both the male and female birds incubate the eggs, with the female birds doing it during the night as well. The nest is usually situated on a branch well above the ground and away from the trunk of the tree. Some evidence has shown that the male and female pairs return to each other for the breeding season every year.

What is their conservation status?

The leaden flycatchers are classified as Least Concern due to their extensive distribution across their range in northern and eastern Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Leaden Flycatcher Fun Facts

What do leaden flycatchers look like?

The males of this species have bright and attractive blue-gray feathers with a stark white breast and belly, while the females are dark and lead-colored with a pale orange throat and breast, and a white belly similar to their male counterparts. The broad-billed flycatcher and the satin flycatcher look very similar to the female leaden flycatcher with their similar dark heads and orange throats. The juveniles of the Myiagra rubecula also look similar to female birds of its species before they develop into adults.

A leaden flycatcher female is lead-colored with a pale orange throat and breast and a white underbelly.

How cute are they?

These birds can be considered extremely cute with their colorful blue and gray plumage and the way they jump from branch to branch in search of food. They can rightly be called one of the most beautiful birds of Australia.

How do they communicate?

While in the nest, both the male and female birds call from the nest so as to establish their territory to other birds. They do so even while briefly perching on branches. Their bird call is a two-whistle note that sounds like a loud buzz.

How big is a leaden flycatcher?

The leaden flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula) can range from 6-6.5 in (14.5–16 cm) in length and thus, they are nearly the same size as satin flycatchers as well broad-billed flycatchers and are almost half the length of great crested flycatchers.

How fast can a leaden flycatcher fly?

The speed with which a leaden flycatcher can fly is currently unknown but it does move very quickly from branch to branch in search of food.

How much does a leaden flycatcher weigh?

An average bird of this species weighs 0.3-0.5 oz (10-15 g) which makes them weigh around 3000 times less than an emu, which is another one of the most famous Australian birds.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female birds of this species.

What would you call a baby leaden flycatcher?

A baby leaden flycatcher is called a chick, and is later called a juvenile or fledgling when it is immature and not an adult bird yet.

What do they eat?

This species of flycatcher hops from branch to branch in search of insects and catches them mid-flight or from branches or leaves.

The eggs in their nests face predation from laughing kookaburras and carrion crows.

Are they dangerous?

The leaden flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula) is not known to be particularly dangerous towards human beings. However, the bird will protect their territory from other birds or predators by intimidating them with their bird call and behavior.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not common practice to take these birds in as a pet but since they are migratory birds, they would probably not do well in a captive environment.

Did you know...

A leaden flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula) has very small bristles around its bill and mouth, which are useful in helping it capturing an insect for food.

Different types of flycatchers

There are several hundred different species of flycatchers all around the world. They are divided into six families and all of the birds in these families are characterized and named for their feeding habit of catching insects while flying, although they may differ in their appearance, distribution, and breeding habits.

Are leaden flycatchers endangered?

No, the leaden flycatchers are not endangered. Their distribution is widely spread in northern and eastern Australia, as well as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. There are no known threats to this species.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Hawaiian crow facts and cliff swallow facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable leaden flycatcher coloring pages.

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