Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva)


French: Gobemouche nain German: Zwergschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas papirrojo

Muscicapa parva


, 1792,

Thüringerwald, Germany


Closely related to F. subrubra; sometimes considered conspecific, but the two differ distinctly in plumage and wing structure. Until recently, considered conspecific with F. albicilla. Monotypic.


C, E & SE Europe (from C Finland, SE Sweden, N Germany, Austria, Croatia and N Greece) E to Urals, NW Kazakhstan, N Turkey, Caucasus and N Iran; non-breeding mainly Pakistan and N, W & C India, locally in SE Arabia#R.

Descriptive notes

11·5 cm; 8·5–11·5 g (parva), 8–14 g (albicilla). Male nominate race breeding has forehead, crown and hindneck brown, tinged... read more


Song melodious, resonant and loud, characterized by whistling notes on descending scale, notes... read more


Breeds in forest and woodland, mainly mixed deciduous stands, especially with beech (Fagus... read more

Food and feeding

Eats mainly insects and other invertebrates, especially beetles (Coleoptera) and spiders (Araneae), but also dragonflies and damselflies (... read more


Nests mid-May to end Jun in C & E Europe; in former USSR, nominate race nests in late May and Jun and race albicilla from mid-... read more


Long-distance migrant. Most European birds (nominate race) migrate SE to non-breeding grounds in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common. In Europe, in W of range but becomes commoner to E, reaching highest densities in Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, the Baltic countries and Romania... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2018). Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva). 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 11 December 2018).