Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Ultramarine Flycatcher (Ficedula superciliaris)


French: Gobemouche ultramarin German: Weißbrauenschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas ultramarino

Muscicapa superciliaris


, 1840,



Race aestigma fairly distinctive with its (in male) reduced or absent white supercilium (2); reduced or absent white at base of outer tail (1); broader dark breast sides (so white mesial line narrower) (1); (in female) slightly darker plumage with broader dark flanks mirroring male’s broad breast sides (ns[1]); zone of hybridization in C Himalayas (intermediates fairly frequent) (allow 1); more study, notably of vocalizations, needed. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • F. s. superciliaris (Jerdon, 1840) – Western Ultramarine Flycatcher – E Afghanistan E to C Himalayas; non-breeding at lower altitudes and also C & S India.
  • F. s. aestigma (J. E. Gray & G. R. Gray, 1847) – Eastern Ultramarine Flycatcher – C Himalayas E to NE India (Assam, Nagaland, E Meghalaya, Manipur) and SC China (SE Xizang E to SW Sichuan and N Yunnan); non-breeding N & E India, C & E Myanmar, NW Thailand and S China (S Yunnan).
  • Descriptive notes

    11·5–12 cm; 8 g. Small, compact flycatcher, male deep blue and white. Male nominate race has short white supercilium from over eye to rear of ear-coverts; rest... read more


    Song rather weak, high-pitched and disjointed, including trills and chirps, “tseep-te-e-te-e-... read more


    Breeds in broadleaf forest, also in pine (Pinus) forest, between 1800 m and 3200 m; non-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet not well known; includes small invertebrates, e.g. dipteran flies and beetles (Coleoptera). Usually solitary or in pairs in breeding... read more


    Season mid-Apr to early Jul. Nest built by both sexes, a cup of moss, bark strips, grass, animal hair and plant fibres, placed up to 7 m... read more


    Resident and migratory. Part of population makes post-breeding descent to foothills and plains,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common and widespread breeding summer visitor in N Pakistan, N India and Nepal, and fairly common in Bhutan; uncommon in NE India hill states, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. & de Juana, E. (2020). Ultramarine Flycatcher (Ficedula superciliaris). 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 28 February 2020).