Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Pale Blue-flycatcher (Cyornis unicolor)


French: Gobemouche bleuâtre German: Einfarb-Blauschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas azulado
Other common names: Pale Blue Jungle-flycatcher

C[yornis]. unicolor


, 1843,

Darjeeling, India


All three races suggested to differ vocally and perhaps to merit treatment as separate species#R. Nomenclature of race cyanopolia has been the object of much confusion; taxon has alternatively been listed as “harterti” (as in HBW) or “infuscatus”; name cyanopolia previously considered invalid, but shown to be valid under ICZN Code, whereas alternative names as listed are not available#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. u. unicolor Blyth, 1843 – Garhwal (W Uttarakhand) and from C Nepal E in Himalayas to NE India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland), S China (SE Xizang, W & S Yunnan and S Guangxi), Myanmar, Thailand (except C & S), N & C Laos and Vietnam (Tonkin, Annam); non-breeding also NE India (Brahmaputra Valley) and probably E Bangladesh#R.
  • C. u. diaoluoensis (Zheng Baolai et al., 1981) – Hainan.
  • C. u. cyanopolia Blyth, 1870 – Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java and Borneo.
  • Descriptive notes

    16·5–18 cm; 16–19 g. Medium-sized to large, slim and long-tailed, blue (male) or brown-grey (female) flycatcher. Male nominate race is almost entirely... read more


    Song, given Mar–Jun and again in Sept in Malay Peninsula, rich and melodious and thrush-like... read more


    Moist forests, mostly dense primary and secondary broadleaf hill forest and lower montane forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food items not well known, but include small invertebrates. Solitary or in pairs; occasionally joins mixed-species flocks. Fairly shy or... read more


    Season Apr–Jun. Nest an open cup of moss, rootlets, bryophytes, plant fibres and lichens, placed in hole in tree stump or between... read more


    Resident and migratory; nominate race is possibly a resident or a short-distance altitudinal... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon in most of range. Uncommon in NE India; range formerly extended to W but no recent records. Rare and local in Nepal;... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2019). Pale Blue-flycatcher (Cyornis unicolor). 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 December 2019).