Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

White-eyed Slaty-flycatcher (Melaenornis fischeri)


French: Gobemouche de Fischer German: Bergdrongoschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas de Fischer

Dioptrornis Fischeri


, 1884,

Mount Meru, Tanzania


See remarks under M. chocolatinus. Birds from SW Tanzania and adjacent DRCongo described as race ufipae on basis of whiter throat and belly, but considered a pale form of nyikensis. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. f. fischeri (Reichenow, 1884) – SE South Sudan (mountains of Imatong, Dongotona and Didinga), NE & E Uganda, W & S Kenya and N Tanzania.
  • M. f. semicinctus (E. J. O. Hartert, 1916) – NE DRCongo (highlands W of L Albert).
  • M. f. toruensis (E. J. O. Hartert, 1900) – E DRCongo (Kivu S to Itombwe), SW Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
  • M. f. nyikensis (Shelley, 1899) – E DRCongo (Marungu Highlands), Malawi, extreme NE Zambia (W Nyika Plateau) and E & S Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; 16–33 g. Nominate race has forehead, crown, ear-coverts, nape, hindneck, side of neck, and upperparts dark bluish-grey; broad eyering whitish-grey; upperwing and... read more


    Song a high-pitched, thin, sweet simple phrase, “tsp, swee-oo-sweetoo”, varying only in... read more


    Dense montane forest, more at edge than in interior; also woodland, trees in villages, and ... read more

    Food and feeding

    Eats grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera), mantids (Mantidae), beetles (of family Scarabaeidae), noctuid moths (Lepidoptera), ants and... read more


    Indications of breeding in Feb, May–Jun and Aug in DRCongo, and breeds in Sept–Oct in Zambia and Malawi; in E Africa in all... read more


    No evidence for movements.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in Sudan, Uganda and Kenya; quite common in Rwanda and Burundi. In Kenya, density of this species around Nairobi increased greatly in 1940s... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2020). White-eyed Slaty-flycatcher (Melaenornis fischeri). 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).