Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Northern Black-flycatcher (Melaenornis edolioides)


French: Gobemouche drongo German: Senegaldrongoschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas drongo

Melasoma edolioides


, 1837,



Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. e. edolioides (Swainson, 1837) – extreme S Mauritania (Assaba to R Senegal), S Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, N & E Guinea, W & SW Mali (including along R Niger from Mopti to Bamako), N Ivory Coast and S Burkina Faso E to extreme SW Niger, Nigeria (except extreme N & S) and W Cameroon.
  • M. e. lugubris (J. W. von Müller, 1851) – E Cameroon, S Chad, N & C Central African Republic, SE Sudan, South Sudan, NE DRCongo, and from W Eritrea and W Ethiopia S to Uganda, W Kenya and N Tanzania.
  • M. e. schistaceus Sharpe, 1895 – N & E Ethiopia and N Kenya.
  • Descriptive notes

    20 cm; 28–36 g. Male nominate race is entirely very dark slate-grey or bluish-grey, almost black, with upperwing and tail darker, more brownish-black; crown, mantle,... read more


    Song a long series of short phrases with frequent pauses, including “tsee-u-weet”,... read more


    Moist woodland, edges of riverine forest in open woodland, gallery forest, acacia (Acacia... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, mainly insects; recorded items include beetles (Coleoptera), mantids (Mantidae), grasshoppers (Orthoptera), cicadas (Cicadidae... read more


    May–Jul in Ghana, May–Jun in Nigeria, Oct in Cameroon, May and Nov–Dec in DRCongo, Oct and Dec–Jun in E Africa and... read more


    Moves seasonally with the rains, at least in N Kenya.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally uncommon or common to frequent throughout range. No information available on potential threats or on population changes. Present in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2020). Northern Black-flycatcher (Melaenornis edolioides). 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 28 February 2020).