Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Little Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula westermanni)


French: Gobemouche pie German: Elsterschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas pío

Muscicapula westermanni


, 1888,

Gunong Ulu Batang Padang, 4200 feet [c. 1280 m], Perak, Malay Peninsula


Geographical variation patchy and irregular, and apparently confined to females, with considerable degree of intermediacy in plumages; for example, australorientis intergrades with collini in C Himalayas and perhaps better merged with latter, and female mayri often considered indistinguishable from females in Philippines; birds on Mindanao provisionally included in nominate race, but this requires reconsideration#R. Further taxonomic review and clarification required. Eight subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • F. w. collini (Rothschild, 1925) – C Himalayas from N India (Himachal Pradesh) E to C Nepal; non-breeding in foothills and NE India.
  • F. w. australorientis (Ripley, 1952) – E Himalayas (E from C Nepal) E to Sikkim and NE India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam S to Meghalaya), SC China (SE Xizang, N & S Yunnan, S Guizhou, Guangxi), Myanmar (except C), N & SC Thailand, N & C Laos and NW Vietnam; non-breeding also Bangladesh and C Myanmar.
  • F. w. langbianis (Kloss, 1927) – S Laos (Bolovens Plateau) and SC Vietnam (Langbian).
  • F. w. westermanni (Sharpe, 1888) – Malay Peninsula, N Sumatra, Borneo, S Philippines (Mindanao), Sulawesi (except SW), Sula Is (Taliabu) and Moluccas (Bacan, Seram); probably this race recently discovered on Buru#R.
  • F. w. rabori (Ripley, 1952) – N & C Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro, Panay, Negros).
  • F. w. palawanensis (Ripley & Rabor, 1962) – S Palawan (Mt Victoria, Mt Mantalingajan), in W Philippines.
  • F. w. hasselti (Finsch, 1898) – S Sumatra, Java, Bali, SW Sulawesi and W & C Lesser Sundas (Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Alor).
  • F. w. mayri (Ripley, 1952) – Wetar and Timor, in E Lesser Sundas.
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11 cm; 7–8 g. Small, large-headed flycatcher, male distinctively black and white, female mainly grey-brown. Male has long white supercilium from over lores,... read more


    Song in Himalayas a series of thin, high-pitched notes, “pi-pi-pi-pi-pi-pi-churrr-r-r-r-r-r”; in... read more


    Breeds in broadleaf deciduous and evergreen forests, in Himalayas between 1200 m and 3000 m,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Details of diet not well known; includes small invertebrates and larvae, principally flies (Diptera), beetles and weevils (Coleoptera),... read more


    Season mid-Mar to Aug; young being fed in Aug in Borneo. Nest built by both sexes, a cup of moss, plant fibres, rootlets, dry sedges,... read more


    Resident and short-range altitudinal migrant. Himalayan breeders spend non-breeding season in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon in Nepal, locally common in India and Bhutan, and scarce in Bangladesh. In Thailand, common in N & NW, locally common in S and scarce or... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2019). Little Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula westermanni). 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 7 December 2019).