Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Slaty-blue Flycatcher (Ficedula tricolor)


French: Gobemouche bleu-ardoise German: Dreifarbenschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas tricolor

D[igenea]. tricolor


, 1845,

Nepal [= central hills of Nepal]


Name leucomelanura is a synonym of tricolor, based on a male of present species described simultaneously with a female described as tricolor; name tricolor awarded priority, but when species placed in Muscicapa, name tricolor is preoccupied and must be replaced by leucomelanura#R. Proposed race notata (Kashmir) also synonymous with nominate. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • F. t. tricolor (Hodgson, 1845) – W & C Himalayas of N Pakistan and Kashmir E to C Nepal and SW China (SW Xizang); non-breeding at lower altitudes.
  • F. t. minuta (A. O. Hume, 1872) – Himalayas from C & E Nepal E to NE India (Arunachal Pradesh and W Assam) and S China (SE Xizang); non-breeding at lower altitudes, including Assam Valley and Bangladesh.
  • F. t. cerviniventris (Sharpe, 1879) – NE India (Meghalaya, E Nagaland and SE Assam S to Mizoram) and W Myanmar; non-breeding in NE Bangladesh.
  • F. t. diversa Vaurie, 1953 – C China (S Gansu S to Yunnan), W & N Myanmar; non-breeding S China (S Yunnan), E Myanmar, NW Thailand, N Laos and N Vietnam.
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5–13 cm; 6–10 g. Small to medium-sized, slim, short-billed, long-tailed forest flycatcher. Male nominate race is almost entirely dark blue on head and... read more


    Song, from well-concealed low perch (continuously during day, also often at night), 3–4 high-... read more


    Breeds in subalpine shrubberies, bush-covered hills (particularly with Viburnum nervosum... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food includes small invertebrates, in particular centipedes (Chilopoda), midges (Chironomidae), beetles (Coleoptera). Usually solitary or... read more


    Season Apr–Jul. Nest a cup of moss, plant fibres, animal hair, feathers and gossamer, placed in depression on ground in bank, or 2... read more


    Altitudinal migrant, making post-breeding descent to lower levels. Departs breeding areas from end... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common in W & NW Himalayas, local in C & E Nepal, locally common in NE India and Assam; fairly common to uncommon in China, N... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2019). Slaty-blue Flycatcher (Ficedula tricolor). 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 7 December 2019).