Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

African Grey Flycatcher (Bradornis microrhynchus)


French: Gobemouche à petit bec German: Strichelkopfschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas piquicorto
Other common names: Greyish Flycatcher

Bradyornis [sic] microrhyncha


, 1887,

Irangi (= Kondoa Irangi) district, Tanzania


Morphologically distinctive race pumilus has been regarded as a separate species, sometimes with neumanni as a race. Relationship between this species and some races of Agricola pallidus requires elucidation#R. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. m. pumilus Sharpe, 1895 – Ethiopian Grey Flycatcher – C Ethiopia and N Somalia.
  • B. m. neumanni Hilgert, 1908 – S South Sudan, S Ethiopia, N Kenya and C Somalia.
  • B. m. burae Traylor, 1970 – SE Somalia and E Kenya.
  • B. m. microrhynchus Reichenow, 1887 – African Grey Flycatcher – SW Kenya and N, C & W Tanzania.
  • B. m. taruensis van Someren, 1921 – SE Kenya.
  • Descriptive notes

    14 cm; 16–24 g (nominate), 11–20 g (burae). Male nominate race has entire upperparts, including sides of head and neck, scapulars and uppertail-coverts,... read more


    Low, thin “tweety” call; alarm a nasal “shree-shree”. Song rarely heard, a... read more


    Open thornbush and scrub of rather xerophytic deciduous types, including acacia (Acacia)... read more

    Food and feeding

    Eats caterpillars and other insect larvae, also adult moths (Lepidoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera), beetles (of family Scarabaeidae),... read more


    Breeds in Apr and Aug–Oct in Ethiopia and May in Somalia; in all months except Jul, with peaks in short rains and long rains, in E... read more


    Apparently sedentary, but reportedly present in S Sudan only in dry season.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common and widespread in most of range. No information on any potential threats. Present in numerous protected areas, e.g. Awash National Park (... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2020). African Grey Flycatcher (Bradornis microrhynchus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2020).