Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Slaty-backed Flycatcher (Ficedula erithacus)


French: Gobemouche de Hodgson German: Schiefermantelschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas pechirrojo

Siphia erithacus

Jerdon and Blyth

, 1861,



Previously listed as F. hodgsonii but, with merging of Muscicapella into present genus, name hodgsonii becomes preoccupied and is replaced by present name#R; as erithacus was considered a homonym of [Siphia] erythaca, an unused synonym of F. mugimaki, the next oldest valid name sordida was suggested#R and used#R for this taxon; however, recent work shows that erithacus and erythaca are both nouns, thus both indeclinable and not homonyms, leaving erithacus as the valid name for present species#R. Monotypic.


C & S China (E Qinghai, SE Gansu and Shaanxi S to SE Xizang, Sichuan and Yunnan) and N Myanmar; non-breeding also C & E Himalayas (C Nepal E to Bhutan) and NE India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland), and Myanmar E to N & C Laos.

Descriptive notes

13–13·5 cm; 8·5–11 g. Small to medium-sized slim, upright flycatcher with small bill and longish tail. Male has head, face and upperparts deep slate... read more


Song a loud and clear series of short and rather meandering but rapid and descending flute-like... read more


Breeds in oak-rhododendron (Quercus-Rhododendron) forest, also conifer forests... read more

Food and feeding

Diet largely unknown, but includes small invertebrates and small berries. Usually solitary; may gather in flocks in winter. Forages in... read more


Season mid-Apr to Jul. Nest cup-shaped, mainly of green moss, leaves, lichens, plant fibres and animal hair, placed in cleft or hollow... read more


Altitudinal migrant in China and Himalayas, descending to lower levels during Oct–Apr. Non-... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Rare or scarce in C Himalayas, uncommon in NE India; uncommon in China; uncommon or fairly common in Myanmar. Scarce or locally common in non-... read more

Recommended citation

Clement, P. & de Juana, E. (2020). Slaty-backed Flycatcher (Ficedula erithacus). 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 25 February 2020).