Birds

Flycatcher - the bird of the passerine

The pied flycatcher bird belongs to the Flycatcher family. In the territory of central Europe, representatives of this family live a little. In appearance, this bird is inconspicuous, small. It is smaller in size than a sparrow. Despite this, the bird brings a lot of benefit to people, exterminating harmful insects. In Latin, the species name sounds like Ficedula hypoleuca.

At the flycatcher, near the base of the beak, there are bristles that perform the function of touch. The eyes are dark, round in shape. On the tip the beak is pointed, but the base is wide. Due to the fact that the bird has rather long wings, it is able to fly quickly. In the flycatcher in the upper part of the body, on the wings and head the color of the plumage is black. On the abdomen, partly on the wings, tail, and also on the forehead white plumage. The legs of this bird are thin, gray.

In the pied flycatcher, the tail feathers located on the tail are relatively short. Boats with 4 fingers. Three are directed forward, and one - back. They grow sharp claws. The body length of this bird is only about 12 cm. The wingspan is 22 cm.

Habitat

This species refers to typical migratory birds. Their nesting sites are common throughout Europe. They do not live only in the south of this part of the world. You can meet a bird in Western Siberia and in the north-western part of Africa. They live almost everywhere, where there are tall trees. You can see the flycatcher in coniferous, deciduous, mixed forests. Sometimes they settle in gardens and groves, and even in abandoned cities or cemeteries. The bird prefers to winter in a tropical forest.

Breeding

Males return from wintering grounds a few days earlier than females. One male usually takes 2-3 plots where he finds various hollows or birdhouses. Loved the plot, the bird sings loudly to notify its neighbors that the territory is already occupied. Singing attracts females. They choose partners for themselves as soon as they return from hot Africa. One male may well attract the attention of several females at the same time. Each takes place found by the male.

When offspring appears, the male helps only one of the females to take care of it. Most often, this is the first of all who flew at the call. In turn, all other females respond to the call of other males as well. Therefore, it is very often the case that chicks from the same clutch have different fathers. As soon as the female builds the nest, she immediately lays her eggs. This happens in May. The number of eggs ranges from 4 to 7. They are bluish-green in color. Only female is engaged in incubation. This period lasts about 2 weeks. And the male during this period brings food for her. Parents feed chicks with caterpillars and various small insects.

Lifestyle

When a bird lives in nesting places, it does not fly away from its site, but hunts nearby. When the chicks grow up and stand on the wing, the flycatchers gather in flocks to fly away for the winter. There they are kept in packs, together they search for food and spend the night in the trees.

The main diet of birds is flying insects. Sometimes can eat and spider. They hunt more often, trapping prey in ambush. She finds a convenient place where you can safely look out for prey. All neighborhoods should be seen from this perch. As soon as from its shelter the pied flycatcher sees the prey, immediately takes off and flies after it. Insect she grabs on the fly with her strong and tenacious beak.

Since the bird wings are rather long and narrow, it can quickly fly and make various maneuvers. Sometimes it can hover in the air for a short time in order to peck prey straight off the leaf, like hummingbirds do.

Sometimes her hunt is different. She sits on a branch in the crown of a tree, and looks out for the caterpillars, wagging her tail. When the flycatcher spotted the victim, she would definitely catch her. Sometimes she looks for insects on the ground.

Related species

The flycatcher family includes 275 bird species. All of them are small in size and inhabit the territory of Eurasia and Africa. Their food consists of various insects and spiders. Some species belonging to the family have a very bright color. This refers to species found in the subtropics and the tropics. And those that live in areas with a temperate climate, are migratory. They nest in the northern territories, and fly to warm countries for wintering. They live in forests of any type. In addition, they can be seen in the city, for example, in the garden or garden.

Interesting Facts

  • Flycatchers bring man a lot of good. After all, they destroy a large number of harmful insects, including those that harm forests. Therefore, this species is protected in some countries.
  • Some species belonging to this family live in the mountains. The orange-necked flycatcher lives at an altitude of up to 4 thousand meters in the Himalayas. She hunts in the thickets, flying into the upper borders of forests.
  • Among all flycatchers, there are species that are facing extinction. This applies to those species that occupy a small area. Among them are jungle flycatcher. This view can be found only on about. Negros. Here the species is threatened with extinction, because on the island forests are cut down with great intensity. If the destruction of nature on this island does not stop, the view will disappear completely. After all, nowhere else in the world can you find such a bird.
  • Many species of the family of flycatchers build their nests in the form of a bowl. They have them on a tree or in dense bush thickets. Sometimes the nest can be found in the cracked wall of an abandoned house. Among them are species that give two offspring in one season.
  • Types of Flycatchers

    These birds belong to the group Sparks and comprise up to 300 species worldwide, of which only fifteen are found in Russia. The most common are the small flycatcher, gray and pestle. These are migratory birds that spend the winter in Africa and South Asia.

    Small birds, whose weight does not exceed 25 grams, differ mainly in the color of their plumage. All flycatchers have a wide beak, on which the ridge of the lower beak stands out well. Elastic bristles are located near the base of the beak and along the edges, covering even nostrils in some species. They help birds catch insects on the fly. The wings are rather narrow, but rather long.

    Gray flycatcher

    These birds differ from their relatives in the most modest and nondescript coloration - the upper part of the body is grayish-brown, and the lower one is light gray with small patches. The gray flycatcher is a rather small bird, rarely larger than a sparrow. Singing them can be heard very rarely, it is very simple, like the bird itself.

    Sits on a branch vertically, often fluttering its wings, as if it is about to take off, and vigilantly watches the insects flying nearby. Rushing off from the spot, she pursues her prey in the air.

    It nests mainly in the forest, especially where there is a lot of dead wood and broken trees, preferring sunny edges and glades. This bird is not different stealth, and quite often it can be found in parks, squares, near country houses. Low-key modest appearance allows these birds to remain unnoticed and safely raise offspring almost alongside human habitation.

    The gray flycatcher is a bird that rather late starts to build a nest, as it flies only by mid-May. Only the female is engaged in construction, using vegetable fibers, straw and dry grass. The litter in the nest, as a rule, is very scarce and consists of feathers and wool. In June, a clutch appears, consisting of 4–6 greenish eggs covered with speckles.

    Small Flycatcher

    The bird is very similar to the charmer, with the exception of white spots on the tail, well visible during the flight. Compared with the gray flycatcher and pestle, the main distinguishing feature is the ginger spot on the breast, especially large and bright in adult males. Well and, of course, much smaller sizes - the body of this bird does not exceed 10 cm in length, and its weight is only 11 grams.

    Singing a small flycatcher is difficult to confuse with the voices of other birds. Her anxious whistling is sad and even sorrowful. It nests mainly in shaded high-growth forests, usually in spruce or spruce-deciduous, where there are more deaf thickets. Despite its small size, the bird occupies a nesting area much larger than that of other species of flycatchers, as a rule, it is about 300 meters.

    Once a year, the female lays from four to six whitish eggs into small rusty specks, of which 14 days later, gray-covered chicks appear. Having got stronger and having taken off from a nest, they are still nearby for some time. The small flycatcher is the rarest bird of all the above listed species.

    Habitats

    Flycatchers are found throughout Europe, as well as in the Urals, in Siberia, in the Caucasus, in South and Central Asia, and in Africa. Everywhere (with the exception of the southernmost ranges), these birds are migratory. In August or September, they set off for wintering in Africa, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan and India.

    Habitats of flycatchers are forest edges, low forest, overgrown shrubs.

    The composition of the food of the flycatchers depends on many conditions: it is the weather, and the time of day, the light, that is, everything that affects the activity of insects. As a rule, on clear warm days, the main food for the flycatchers are flies, gadflies, and dragonflies. In rainy weather, food is used by caterpillars, larvae, beetles and spiders hiding on the branches and leaves of trees.

    Behavior features

    The way of hunting for insects causes these birds to stay alone. The flycatcher can sit still in ambush among the branches for a long time, rushing sharply after the flying insect, grabbing it on the fly, then returns to its place.

    During the nesting period, the male very jealously guards its territory, sings loudly, attracting the female. The construction of the nest is usually done by both parents, with the exception of the gray flycatcher (the bird, the description of which is given above).

    Up to 500 times a day, a pair of flycatchers have to fly to the nest with food in their beak to feed their chicks. Over the entire feeding period, which lasts an average of two weeks, flycatchers kill up to one and a half million insects. By weight, this is about 1.5 kilograms. The benefit that the flycatcher brings by destroying insects is undeniable.

    Flycatcher Small: external features

    The little gray bird belongs to the passerine order, the family Flycatchers. Its size is small (no more than 12 cm), the plumage is rather dull, which is rather an advantage than a disadvantage: it is not so easy to see for birds of prey.

    The small flycatcher has a slender, slightly elongated, oval body. The tail is thin and long. The head is large with large dark eyes. Black beak is medium in size. The paws are dark with short claws. The small flycatcher, whose voice is quite sonorous, makes quite original sounds. The song of this bird consists of two or three recurring "circus" and four or five whistling sounds, which follow, with a lowering tone. This simple melody does not mix with the voices of other birds, it is long and easy to remember.

    Male color

    In an adult male, the sides of the head and the upper part of the neck are colored brownish gray or dark gray. Nadhvoste and back grayish-brown. Covering upper tail feathers velvety black. The small flycatcher of the European subspecies has a large spot of bright red or ocher color on the craw, neck, and upper chest. The color intensity of a spot and its size depend on the age of the bird. Larger and brighter it is in old males.

    From the neck, the gray color extends to the sides of the breast and fringes a red spot around the edges. The lower part of the breast and lower tail tail feathers, abdomen - white. The lower covering wings are white to light ocher. The upper and wing wings are brown. The central helmsmen are black, the rest are bicoloured: in the bases white and black on the tops. The beak is brown-brown a little lighter at the base of the mandible. The legs are brown and black. The iris of the eye is brown.

    How are the females painted?

    The adult female has a greyish-brown or brownish-brown plumage in the upper torso. Steering and upper tail tails are the same color as the male. The sides of the head are slightly lighter than the top. The bottom of the body is white with a pale ocher hue. On the tail the lower coverts are white. The upper covering and wing wings are brown, have a small admixture of brown.

    Small flycatcher completely fastidious in food. According to ornithologists, these babies eat everything that can fit in their miniature beak. Eating a small flycatcher depends largely on weather conditions: on a fine clear day, these birds catch flies, small butterflies, dragonflies. The flycatcher will not refuse horseflies, flown into the area of ​​its hunting grounds.

    In bad weather, when it is impossible to make flights, the bird eats caterpillars, small bugs and other insects that hide from the rain in the foliage of the trees. Our heroine is also sheltering there from the rain. Flycatchers hunt for almost all insects that are in the air, however, and creeping species they do not bypass their attention.

    Interestingly, the flycatcher is able to deftly lift its leaves with its beak, and under it it will certainly find some food for itself. These may be spiders, ants, small bugs, etc.

    Nest construction

    Interestingly, the nest of the flycatcher (female) equips only their natural materials. She gently weaves it from moss, thin stalks of grass, wood fibers, bird fluff. Outside, the bird sometimes revets it with lichen and thin sprigs.

    Inside the tray is lined with moss, hair-like antennae of climbers, a small amount of horsehair is used. An open nest (not a hollow) usually takes the form of a small bowl. In diameter, it does not exceed 50 mm, depth - 45 mm. It is difficult to find the nest of the small flycatcher, because it is well disguised, and the birds are very careful and keep in the upper branches of the trees.

    The appearance of chicks

    In June, eggs appear in the nest, which is usually not more than six. The shell is painted in bluish color with splashes of dark shades. The female incubates the eggs itself for two weeks. The sizes of eggs are 19 x 14 mm. Sensing danger, birds with uneasy cries fly around the nest, sometimes they can even imitate an attack on an uninvited guest who is trying to inspect the nest, fly into it, turning it at its very face.

    Both parents feed the chicks. The offspring grows very quickly, and by the age of one month they become independent. And parents during this time have time to make the second laying.

    Chicks: plumage

    The first plumage of chicks is brownish-brown on top with light ocher spots on feathers. The craw, throat and upper breast are pale ocher with a scaly brown pattern. Its intensity decreases in the upper abdomen. On the bottom of the figure is completely absent.

    Bottom tail tails are white. The first postlegged (winter) outfit of young birds is very similar to the color of an adult female. However, on the upper and fly-over cover rims are less pronounced. The change of nesting attire in young birds from early broods begins in mid-June. Such a partial molt covers almost all small plumage, excluding the outer upper opaque and secondary flywheel.

    In the offspring of late broods, the first molt usually ends in late August-early September. During the wintering periods, only the rare first years show individual red feathers on the throat. Adults molt twice a year: completely in the premarital period at the wintering sites and in the after-marriage time at the nesting sites.

    Appearance Ptahi

    The body size of the pied flycatcher is about 13 centimeters in length. When ptah spreads its wings, their span is 22 - 24 centimeters. The pied flycatcher weighs approximately 19-20 grams.

    Pied Flycatcher (lat. Ficedula hypoleuca)

    Females and males differ in plumage color. Males have a black back, the wings of them are also black and decorated with white stripes. The abdominal part of the males is white. Females are not as contrasting in color. On top of them, feathers are painted in a gray-brown shade, the abdominal part is off-white. On the chest - ocher coating.

    The pied flycatcher prepares to make a nest.

    Eyes, legs and beak in pied flycatchers are painted in dark colors. It should be noted that in all young individuals the plumage has the same coloring as in females, and only with maturation does the males change their color.

    Listen to the voice of a pied flycatcher

    The pied flycatcher is a very agile ptah, it skips along the branches with great speed. This bird is very active, it practically does not sit still and is able to spend a whole day in motion. And as soon as she does not get tired?

    However, there is a power that can harden in place and become sad — it is dull weather. When the street is gloomy and there is no sun, the pied flycatcher sits quietly on a branch and hardly moves.

    Чем питается маленькая певчая птичка мухоловка

    Главной пищей для этих пернатых считаются насекомые. Мухоловка-пеструшка ест личинок пилильщиков, личинок божьих коровок, мух, гусениц, пауков, цикад.

    Насекомые составляют основу рациона мухоловок пеструшек.

    Кроме того, эта птаха питается плодами фруктовых и ягодных растений.

    Выведение потомства у мухоловки-пеструшки

    Прилетев из теплых краев, птички приступают к строительству гнезда. Usually, this process takes from 3 to 10 days. As a rule, eggs are laid in May. One female is able to postpone about 5 - 8 pieces. Hatching eggs lasts approximately two weeks. All this time, the "father of the family" carefully takes care of the female, bringing her food directly to the nest.

    Pestles carry food to the chicks.

    Chicks that have appeared in the world live in the nest for about 2 - 2.5 weeks, then gradually begin independent activities. But the parents of their children are not far away yet. Even during the week, they look after them and feed them.

    The pied flycatchers live in nature for about 9 years.

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