Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica)


French: Gobemouche brun German: Braunschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas pardo

Muscicapa Grisola var. Dauurica


, 1811,

Onon River, Dauria, Siberia


In past, sometimes considered conspecific with M. randi and M. segregata. Fairly distinctive race williamsoni commonly treated as a separate species, although seemingly mainly on basis that breeding range approaches that of siamensis, but no overlap yet demonstrated and a few individuals in shared non-breeding range have been considered intergrades; further study required (especially of voice: to date no recordings of williamsoni available) including of race umbrosa, which may represent a third species or be treated with williamsoni#R. Race sodhii recently described as a full species#R, but genetic and morphometric evidence in description place it close to (or within range of variation in) present species as here constituted, while stated plumage differences amount to three minor ones (but race siamensis, genetically closest, was not compared; score at best 3) and detectable song differences, involving fewer low-pitched notes, are based on a single individual and require substantiation and fuller analysis (claim that lowest frequency in sample was 5.75 kHz contradicted by analysis here, which found 2.2 kHz; and claim that maximum frequency higher also contradicted by other sampling), including comparison with geographically closest race umbrosa, whose song is apparently unknown#R. Species has occasionally been listed as M. latirostris, as Pallas’s name claimed to be infrasubspecific#R, but ICZN Code supports its validity#R. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. d. dauurica Pallas, 1811 – Asian Brown Flycatcher – C Siberia and SE Russia (from R Yenisey E to Amurland and Ussuriland), N Mongolia, NE China, N Korea, Sakhalin, S Kuril Is and Japan; non-breeding S China (Yunnan, Guangdong, Hainan), Taiwan (scarce), SE Asia (to W Myanmar), Philippines, and Greater Sundas.
  • M. d. poonensis Sykes, 1832 – NW Pakistan (Murree Hills) and Himalayan foothills E to E Nepal, also C & S India (Vindhya and Satpura Ranges, Western Ghats, possibly also Eastern Ghats); non-breeding peninsular India (principally S of Vindhya Range), Sri Lanka, Andaman Is and Nicobar Is.
  • M. d. siamensis (Gyldenstolpe, 1916) – S Myanmar (N Tenasserim), W & NW Thailand and S Vietnam (S Annam).
  • M. d. williamsoni Deignan, 1957 – Brown-streaked Flycatcher – SE Myanmar (S Tenasserim) and S Thailand S to NW Peninsular Malaysia; non-breeding also S to Singapore and Sumatra, and W Borneo.
  • M. d. umbrosa Wells, 1982 – NE Borneo (NE Sabah and possibly Brunei and E Kalimantan).
  • M. d. sodhii J. B. C. Harris et al., 2014 – Sulawesi Streaked Flycatcher – lowland and submontane forests of Sulawesi#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–14 cm; 7·8–16 g. Small to medium-sized, large-headed (with large dark eye) and short-tailed flycatcher. Nominate race has head and upperparts plain ashy... read more


    Song, in Nepal from mid-Apr to end Jun (may resume for short period in Sept), consists of short... read more


    Breeds in lowland open temperate and subtropical mature and secondary broadleaf forests, secondary... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food not well known; recorded items small invertebrates, including beetles (Coleoptera), stoneflies (Plecoptera), bugs (Hemiptera), wasps (... read more


    Season May–Jul in N of range and Apr–Jun in S; single-brooded in N, but possibly two broods in S Thailand. Solitary,... read more


    Resident and migratory. Resident in C & SW India, S Myanmar, NW & S Thailand, NW Peninsular... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common or locally common in much of range; rare to scarce breeding visitor in N Pakistan, and scarce summer visitor (but common passage migrant) in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. & Bonan, A. (2019). Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica). 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 16 December 2019).