Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Mangrove Blue-flycatcher (Cyornis rufigastra)


French: Gobemouche des mangroves German: Mangroveblauschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas de manglar

Muscicapa rufigastra


, 1822,



Taxonomy uncertain. Usually treated as conspecific with C. omissus and C. djampeanus. Proposed race litoralis (Palawan and Sulu Is, in W Philippines) synonymized with philippinensis. Race simplex has been referred to as blythi, but name “simplex” is not preoccupied within Cyornis, as Muscicapa simplex refers to Rhytipterna simplex (Tyrannidae). Eight subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. r. rufigastra (Raffles, 1822) – Mangrove Blue-flycatcher – Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo.
  • C. r. karimatensis Oberholser, 1924 – Karimata I, off SW Borneo.
  • C. r. rhizophorae Stresemann, 1925 – Sebesi I (extreme S Sumatra), Bangka, Belitung and Java (mainly W).
  • C. r. longipennis Chasen & Kloss, 1930 – Karimunjawa Is, N of C Java.
  • C. r. simplex Blyth, 1870 – Philippine Blue-flycatcher – N Philippines (Babuyan Is#R, Luzon, Polillo, Alabat#R, Fortune, Catanduanes).
  • C. r. mindorensis Mearns, 1907 – Mindoro, in NC Philippines.
  • C. r. marinduquensis duPont, 1972 – Marinduque, in NC Philippines.
  • C. r. philippinensis Sharpe, 1877 – C, W & S Philippines, including Palawan and Sulu Archipelago.
  • Recently discovered population on Lubang I not identified to subspecies, but presumably either simplex or mindorensis#R.

    Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; 12·5–18 g, Philippine races 16·8–22 g. Male nominate race is deep blue above, except paler blue forehead and supercilium; edges of... read more


    Song, by both sexes (Jan–Aug in Malay Peninsula), a high-pitched series of melodious warbling... read more


    Coastal mangroves, taller mangrove transition forest and adjacent scrub, beach-forest and peatswamp... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes flies (Diptera), hymenopterans (small bees, ants), termites (Isoptera), aphids (Aphidoidea) and other small invertebrates.... read more


    Season Mar–Aug. Nest built by female, a small shallow cup of plant fibres and leaves, placed up to 2 m above ground in fork in tree... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common or locally common in S Thailand; fairly common on W coast of Peninsular Malaysia but known from only five sites on E... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Mangrove Blue-flycatcher (Cyornis rufigastra). 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 29 March 2020).