Fun Old World Flycatcher Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Apr 27, 2023 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
Old World flycatcher facts about the Old World flycatcher anatomy.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.9 Min

Old World flycatchers (Muscicapidae family) are a large honorable family, the Muscicapidae.

These small passerine birds are mostly seen in the old world (Europe, Africa, and Asia).

There are 324 species which are divided into 51 genera. From white-grey to beautiful blue-white and sea-green color combinations these Old World flycatchers (Muscicapidae family) are known for their beauty and cuteness.

Some of the most well-known subspecies of the family Muscicapidae are Tickell's blue flycatcher (Cyornis Tickelliae), white-starred robin (Pogonocichla Stellata), spotted flycatcher (Muscicapa striata), white-bellied blue robin (Sholicola Albiventris), African stonechat or Common stonechat (Saxicola Torquatus), white-bellied robin-chat (Cossyphicula Roberti) Madagascar magpie-robin (Copsychus Albospecularis), white-throated robin (Irania gutturalis), blue fronted robin, Swynnerton's robin, European pied flycatcher (Ficedula Hypoleuca), Silverbird (Empidornis semipartitus), and Humblotia grand Comoro flycatcher (Humblotia flavirostris).

Here are some of the most interesting facts about Old World flycatchers. Afterward, do check our other articles on great crested flycatcher facts and western bluebird facts as well.

Old World Flycatcher Interesting Facts

What type of animal is Old World flycatcher?

Old World flycatchers (Muscicapidae family) are a type of bird. Flycatchers, like other birds, fly in flocks and are usually seen inhabiting a place with other similar species of birds.

What class of animal does the Old World flycatcher belong to?

It belongs to the class Aves (birds). These birds have been divided into groups known as chats such as Herero chat, and Boulder chat. The Old World flycatcher meaning is a group of birds that can catch and feed on insects while flying.

How many Old World flycatchers are there in the world?

There are numerous Old World flycatchers in the world, many different species, and they are found almost all around the world.  There is no accurate number for how many there are in the world.

Where does Old World flycatcher live?

They live in well-constructed, cup-shaped nests made of grass, bark, or other plant fibers. They usually place these nests on a tree branch, a cavity in a tree trunk, or on a ledge of a bank.

What is the Old World flycatcher's habitat?

Old World flycatchers generally find an environment with trees to live in. It can be a moist forest or an open area, wetlands, or even the montane woodland of the Himalayas.

But some of them prefer to live in dry forests, grasslands, and savanna. They migrate south in winter for a constant supply of insects. Some of them make their homes in residential landscapes and gardens.

Who do Old World flycatchers live with?

They live either alone or in small groups. Sometimes 10 to 30 of them can be seen together.

How long does an Old World flycatcher live?

Depending on the species, the lifespan of the Old World flycatcher varies. It can be anywhere from about a year (for most robins) to 5-6 years. However, it has been observed that birds in captivity live much longer, some living even longer than 17 years.

How do they reproduce?

Old World flycatchers are known for being highly territorial during the breeding season and protect their nesting areas from others of their species by proclaiming their territories by frequently singing their songs. If that doesn’t work, they fight intruders.

The first is known to form a pair, then there is a period of courtship and finally, they mate. They usually lay 2-7 spotted or mottled eggs and both parents feed the baby birds (the nestlings and fledglings). The incubation (hatching) period is generally 12-22 days.

What is their conservation status?

322 species are included in the Old World flycatcher family. While some of these birds are not in any danger, The World Conservation Union says that about 18 species are at risk and 19 species have been assigned the near-threatened status. Many rare species haven’t yet been studied enough to be assigned a conservation status.

Old World Flycatcher Fun Facts

What do Old World flycatchers look like?

Both the typical Old World and the African flycatchers are usually of small to medium size, 3-9 in (9-22 cm). Typical Old World flycatchers come in a variety of different colors: black and white, dull brown to bright colors like vivid blues.

Males have brighter-colored plumage in some species. They have short legs and small feet to help them perch and fly and perform complex maneuvers by which they catch their prey (flying insects). They also have bristles on their peaks to help them catch food.

The African Flycatcher is similar in size with short flattened bills and a slightly hooked tip. When these birds are excited, you can see an area of bare skin in white or buff, around the eye. Males have glossy black and black feathers while the females have brown or reddish plumage.

Old-world flycatchers make their nest in a tree hole.

How cute are they?

They are tiny little creatures that are so small that they can generally fit in the palm of your hand. They come in various colors and sizes and sing beautifully. This makes them pretty cute.

How do they communicate?

Some species use their songs to proclaim their territory while other species have weak and monotonous songs. However, all species use their calls to communicate with other birds of their species and to alert nearby birds of the presence of a threat or predator.

How big is Old World flycatcher?

Old World flycatcher range of size is 3-9 in (9-22 cm) in length. This means that they are about the same size as the house sparrows we see around. They are about a third of the size of the American crow and can fit easily in the palm of your hand.

How fast can an Old World flycatcher fly?

Among Old World Flycatchers, robins, and nightingales can fly at the speed of up to 18 mph (29 kph) on average. The speeds depend upon the species as well as the size and weight of the bird.

How much does an Old World flycatcher weigh?

The weight of the Old World flycatcher varies by species. While a spotted flycatcher is just about 0.45-1.76 oz (13-50 g), a Blue Rock Thrush can weigh up to 2 oz (56 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male bird is called a cock whereas the female bird is called a hen.

What would you call a baby Old World flycatcher?

A baby Old World flycatcher will be called a chick.

What do they eat?

As their name suggests, all the species of Old World flycatcher birds are insectivores. This means that they eat insects. Some species even eat spiders!

Are they friendly?

Many species of the Old World flycatcher are friendly, especially Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, which is an extremely friendly bird.

Would they make a good pet?

A lot of the species of Flycatchers are friendly and have beautiful songs. However, they shouldn’t be kept as birds as they don’t like being caged and it stresses them out. A significant number of species are endangered or threatened and it is illegal to keep them as pets.

Did you know...

Some of the most well-known subspecies of these birds are Tickell's Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis Tickelliae), White Starred Robin (Pogonocichla Stellata), Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata), White-Bellied Blue Robin (Sholicola Albiventris), African Stonechat or Common Stonechat (Saxicola Torquatus).

Do Old World flycatchers migrate?

Many species of flycatchers are migratory whereas others are sedentary.

What does it mean when you see Old World flycatcher?

The European Robin, a species of Old World Flycatchers, is often called the unofficial national bird of the United Kingdom. Another Flycatcher known as the Nightingale is a famous bird. The male nightingale sings so melodiously that humans who sing extremely well are often admirably called nightingales.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Monk Parakeet Facts, and Lilac-Breasted Roller Facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our old-world flycatcher coloring pages.

Old World Flycatcher Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Insects and other invertebrates

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

6-8 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

0.45-1.76 oz (13-50 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

every environment with trees

Where Do They Live?

europe, africa and asia

How Long Were They?

3-9 in (9-22 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Depends on species

What Do They Look Like?

Grey, white, black, blue

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

climate change, forest fire, habitat loss

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern

europe africa and asia

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

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Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed

Bachelor of Law

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Abdulqudus MojeedBachelor of Law

A versatile professional with a passion for creative writing and technology. Abdulqudus is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Law from the University of Lagos and has experience as a tutor, intern assistant, and volunteer. He possesses strong organizational skills and is a detail-oriented person.

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