Fun Fiscal Flycatcher Facts For Kids

Nidhi Sahai
Oct 20, 2022 By Nidhi Sahai
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
The Fiscal Flycatcher facts that will kindle your interest!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

The Fiscal Flycatcher, Melaenornis silens, are very quiet and calm birds of the world. Melaenornis silens (Fiscal Flycatcher birds) are black and white in color and can be very easily found in South Africa, Swaziland, and the southern parts of Botswana and Mozambique. The Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens) of order Passeriformes, family Muscicapidae, and genus Sigelus, can get confused with its lookalike bird, the Common Fiscal which is larger and more aggressive. But they both show great similarities in their hunting and perching habits. The male bird of this species is black from the upper portion and white wing from below, but the Fiscal Flycatcher female is brown. These kinds of birds are songbirds and have a small wide beak to catch insects in flight. The Fiscal Flycatcher juvenile has a brown body, too, with spots. The Fiscal shrike call is a weak and high-pitched ‘tswee’ and ‘sooo’ notes.

Got an interest in birds and want to know about more of them? Here you can know some amazing facts about the swallow and palm warbler.

Fiscal Flycatcher Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Fiscal Flycatcher?

The Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens) bird formerly belonged to the Muscicapidae family (genus Melaenornis). They have a long black tail are known by different names in different countries like-gobemouche fiscal (France), würgerschnäpper(Germany), papa-moscas-fiscal(Portugal).

What class of animal does a Fiscal Flycatcher belong to?

The Melaenornis silens (Fiscal Flycatcher) is a taxonomic species within the genus Melaenornis and class Aves. The Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens) belong to the kingdom Animalia.

How many Fiscal Flycatchers are there in the world?

The Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens) is a small passerine bird, and the exact number of their population is not known but can be seen in equatorial countries.

Where does a Fiscal Flycatcher live?

Being an equatorial bird, the Fiscal Flycatcher (Melaenornis silens) lives in the region of southern Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, and Swaziland.

What is a Fiscal Flycatcher's habitat?

The typical habitat preference of these birds is the woods, semi-arid, savanna, wetlands, open habitat with scattered trees, gardens, parks, and shrublands. They can be called partial migrants as well as they tend to live in the garden areas in winters but in parts of the southern Karoo and Western Cape.

Who do Fiscal Flycatchers live with?

These birds can be gregarious depending on the climate. In winters, they tend to travel in groups of a maximum of 10 birds; but they prefer to live in solitary in general.

How long does a Fiscal Flycatcher live?

The exact lifespan of the Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens) is not known, but like the other small birds in the world, their lifespan may range between one to two years.

How do they reproduce?

The Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens) is monogamous, and males usually present gifts to the female and sing gently so that the female can join them. The nest gets build by the females only and is in the shape of an open cup made of dry materials around like grasses, dry mud, and leaves.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature listed the Fiscal Flycatcher (Melaenornis silens) under the status of Least Concern (LC) as it is widespread within southern Africa.

Fiscal Flycatcher Fun Facts

What do Fiscal Flycatchers look like?

The Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens) of the Muscicapidae family is a black and white bird. You can see white feathers on both sides of the tails when the bird is perching. The female and juveniles of this species are more grayish-brown rather than pure black. Also, they have black eyes, bills, feet, and legs are black.

Their fluffy and vibrant plumage gives them a cute and attractive appearance.

How cute are they?

The Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens) birds of the Muscicapidae family are some of the simplest looking birds of the world. As the scientific name suggests, they are quiet birds, and the Fiscal Flycatcher call is one of the sweetest sounds of birds you can hear. The fluffy white sides of the underparts are fluffy, giving it a cute look.

How do they communicate?

The Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens) has a silent nature and the females are mostly so. The papa moscas (Fiscal Flycatcher) call is a weak, thin series of high-pitched ‘tswee’ and ‘sooo’ notes. They usually make calls from somewhere high like the trees, poles, terraces, and fences. This also aware them or also the whole group of bids in which they are traveling of the presence of their predators, danger, or prey.

How big is a Fiscal Flycatcher?

The Fiscal Flycatcher (Melaenornis silens) weighs around 0.7-1.3 oz (21-37 g) and is 6.6-7.8 in (17–20 cm) long. It often gets confused with its lookalike species the Common Shrike, which is twice in size.

How fast can a Fiscal Flycatcher fly?

The exact speed of the Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens) is not known. The Gobemouche Fiscal resident and do not move great distances, but they can travel potentially far. These species migrate annually to coastal areas and lowlands during winters. The largest movements recorded for ringed birds these species include 18.6-39.1 mi (30-63 km) and their distribution is mainly in southern Africa, primarily South Africa and Botswana.

How much does a Fiscal Flycatcher weigh?

The Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens) weighs around 0.7-1.3 oz (21-37 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific male and female names of the species and they are monogamous.

What would you call a baby Fiscal Flycatcher?

The baby of this bird is called a chick like the other members of the Muscicapidae family.

What do they eat?

Primarily the Fiscal Flycatcher Melaenornis silens is an insectivores bird. But the Fiscal Flycatcher diet also includes berries and fruit. They eat dragonflies, worms, termites, and earwigs.

Are they dangerous?

The bird, Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens), is not dangerous as it is very calm and quiet. It rather faces danger from cats and snakes.

Would they make a good pet?

No, the Fiscal Flycatcher (Melaenornis silens) will not make a good pet. They are not very friendly towards humans, and also, there has been no recorded case of humans having this bird as a pet in the world.

Did you know...

The Fiscal Flycatcher (Melaenornis silens) birds are important insectivores. They help in controlling ants, termites, moths, bugs, and some other pests. In the absence of these birds, the population of insects will increase. These birds of the world are important disperses of seeds for many indigenous plants.

Different types of Flycatcher birds

The flycatcher family has many native species and many other non-native species. They belong to different families, genus but have the same order Passeriformes. They can be found in different continents around the habitat of arid regions, grasslands, and wetlands. The foremost common species of all is the Muscicapa striata (M. striata), which can be seen in Europe as a 5.5 in (14 cm) streaked grayish-brown bird of open woodlands and gardens eastward through Asia. This bird has a thin sibilant call and has the habit of flicking the wings. The Pied Flycatcher (M. hypoleuca) breeds in Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia, and also the male's body is black and white in color. The Tickell’s blue flycatcher (M. tickelliae) which has blue upperparts and red underparts, much like an American bluebird, is found in forests from India to the Philippines. The Narcissus Flycatcher (M. narcissina) can be seen in Japan and is black, yellow, and white. Unlike most of the members of the family, it is a good singer.

Fiscal Flycatcher vs Fiscal Shrike

The Fiscal Flycatcher (Melaenornis silens) and the Fiscal Shrike (Lanius collaris) both belong to the same order Passeriformes, but the Fiscal Shrike belongs to the family Laniidae, genus Lanius. These two birds look very similar to a great extent, but the Fiscal Shrike is more colorful with vivid patterns on its body than the Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens). Both of these birds have white underparts and black upperparts, but the Fiscal Shrike can be distinguished by its 'V'- white body pattern on its back and a longer tail. On looking at both of these birds, you can see the difference between their bills.  The Fiscal Shrike has a slightly more robust and pronounced hook at the end of its bill, unlike the Flycatcher (Fiscal). The chevrons of the Flycatcher are lower down on its wings, but the shrike has white chevrons on its back. The Flycatcher (Fiscal) is less aggressive than the shrike. Shrikes are fiercely territorial and scare other birds when they try to disturb their space and privacy. The Fiscal shrike is also known as the 'Butcher Bird'  because of its habit of impaling the insects or prey on thorns to save it for later which the Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens) doesn't do. Fiscal Shrikes are slightly longer than the Gobemouche Fiscal (Melaenornis silens) with their length ranging between 8.26-9.05 in (21-23 cm).

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 Blue-and-yellow Macaw facts and Hawaiian hawk facts for kids pages.

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

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Written by Nidhi Sahai

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Nidhi Sahai picture

Nidhi SahaiBachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Dedicated and experienced, Nidhi is a professional content writer with a strong reputation for delivering high-quality work. She has contributed her expertise to esteemed organizations, including Network 18 Media and Investment Ltd. Driven by her insatiable curiosity and love for journalism and mass communication, Nidhi pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, graduating with distinction in 2021. During her college years, she discovered her passion for Video Journalism, showcasing her skills as a videographer for her institution. Nidhi's commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond her professional pursuits. Actively engaging in volunteer work, she has contributed to various events and initiatives throughout her academic career.

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