Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Thicket Flycatcher (Ficedula luzoniensis)


French: Gobemouche buissonnier German: Dickichtschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas de Luzón

Muscicapula luzoniensis


, 1894,

highlands of northern Luzon, 5000 feet [c. 1525 m]


Until recently considered conspecific with F. hyperythra (which see), but differs in its whitish to orange-buff vs black chin (2); much weaker white eyebrow (strongest in race montigena, but still considerably less striking; 2); base of outer rectrices uniform with tail vs with small but bold white patches, presumably important in signalling (2); song (but n=2) consisting of 3–5 flat-pitched drawn-out whistles with maximum frequency 7 kHz vs 2–3 very high-pitched short notes followed by 2–3 slightly lower-pitched notes with maximum frequency 7.5–11 kHz (at least 1 for longer note length and 2 for lower pitch; score 3). Molecular data reveal that the two species are representatives of separate clades and differ by c. 16% in DNA#R. Birds from Mindoro have on occasion been separated as race mindorensis, but doubtfully separable from Luzon birds; junior synonym “dulangana” has sometimes been used in recent times for Mindoro (and, if lumped, Luzon) birds, but this name is applicable only in the event of present genus being merged with both Muscicapa and Cyornis. Eight subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • F. l. calayensis (McGregor, 1921) – Calayan (off N Luzon), in N Philippines.
  • F. l. luzoniensis (Ogilvie-Grant, 1894) – Luzon and Mindoro (N Philippines).
  • F. l. rara (Salomonsen, 1977) – Mantalingajan Mts, in S Palawan (W Philippines).
  • F. l. nigrorum (J. Whitehead, 1897) – WC Philippines (Panay, Negros).
  • F. l. malindangensis Rand & Rabor, 1957 – Mt Malindang, in NW Mindanao (S Philippines).
  • F. l. daggayana Meyer de Schauensee & duPont, 1962 – NC Mindanao (Misamis Oriental).
  • F. l. montigena (Mearns, 1905) – Mt Kitanglad, Mt McKinley and Mt Apo, in C Mindanao.
  • F. l. matutumensis Kennedy, 1987 – Mt Busa and Mt Matutum, in S Mindanao.
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 6–10·5 g (nominate), 9·7–12·3 g (matutumensis). Small, round-headed flycatcher, short-tailed and small-billed, male dark blue above and female olive-... read more


    Song poorly known and poorly documented, consists of 3–5 drawn-out flat whistles. Calls include... read more


    Montane forest, usually above 1000 m, occasionally down to 900 m (e.g. Camiguin) and even 760 m (S... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little known. Diet mainly small invertebrates and larvae, also some fruit (e.g. berries); presumably not dissimilar to that of F.... read more


    Individuals with enlarged gonads recorded Jan–Jun, a female with egg in oviduct in Jun, and very young juveniles observed May–Jul. No other... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common to locally very common. Although this species is often very common in montane forest, it is extremely secretive and very... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Thicket Flycatcher (Ficedula luzoniensis). 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 22 January 2020).