Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Dark-sided Flycatcher (Muscicapa sibirica)


French: Gobemouche de Sibérie German: Rußschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas siberiano

Muscicapa sibirica

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Lake Baikal, Russia


Geographical variation not well marked, although it has been suggested that nominate race might represent a sufficiently distinct lineage to warrant separate species status#R; in S Asia there is a cline of increasing darkness of upperparts from W to E, many individuals not assignable to race, and the recognition of more than one taxon (gulmergi and cacabata) from this area is questionable. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. s. sibirica J. F. Gmelin, 1789 – Siberian Flycatcher – C & SE Siberia (from W Altai, in extreme E Kazakhstan#R, through Transbaikalia E to Kamchatka, including Sakhalin and Kuril Is), N Mongolia, NE China (S to C Inner Mongolia, N Liaoning and Jilin), N Korea and N Japan; non-breeding Taiwan, S China (Guangxi, Guangdong, S Fujian), Indochina and Borneo.
  • M. s. gulmergi (E. C. S. Baker, 1923) – NE Afghanistan and N Pakistan (NW Himalayas) E to N India (Uttarakhand); non-breeding unknown#R.
  • M. s. cacabata T. E. Penard, 1919 – Dark-sided Flycatcher – C & E Himalayas from W Nepal E to S China (S Xizang), Bhutan and NE India (Assam hills); non-breeding S Myanmar and S Thailand.
  • M. s. rothschildi (E. C. S. Baker, 1923) – C & S China (SE Qinghai and SE Gansu S to E Xizang, Sichuan and W Yunnan), N & W Myanmar and, possibly, NW Vietnam; non-breeding S China (SE Yunnan E to Guangdong), Indochina, Malay Peninsula and Sumatra#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; 8·5–12 g. Small to medium-sized, slim grey-and-white flycatcher with long wings (tips of primaries extend about two-thirds down closed tail on nominate... read more


    Song, in late May and early Jun (restricted to start of nesting season), rather weak (inaudible... read more


    Breeds in montane and submontane evergreen forests and woods, including rhododendron (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food not well studied; mostly small invertebrates, including dipteran flies, particularly hoverflies (Syrphidae), chironomid midges, small... read more


    Season May–Aug. Nest built by female, a neat and compact cup of moss, lichens, fine grasses, animal hair, small feathers and gossamer... read more


    Migratory. N populations winter in Taiwan, SE Asia E to S China (Guangxi, Guangdong, S Fujian), and... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common or locally common in Siberia, fairly common in China, and locally common in Japan; fairly common or local in SE Asia; fairly common and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2020). Dark-sided Flycatcher (Muscicapa sibirica). 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 6 April 2020).