Spotted Fly Catcher - Musciapa Striata

Spotted Fly Catcher
(click to enlarge)
Likes garden environments, with plenty of flowers that attract insects to feed upon. Favours a high and prominent perch, where it will sit totally still and silent waiting for a suitable insect to fly near, darting off to catch it's prey in mid-flight and returning to the same perch to await it's next meal. Widespread from May to September, the males normally arrive first, but are renowned for their lack of musical ability!

Identification
Contrary to their name, they are not spotted! Plumage is grey/brown on top, paler below with streaking on the breast and crown. They have large eyes, very long wings, long tail and a flat bill with a wide gap to facilitate catching insects. The male's song is positively disjointed, the female offers a much better rendition - a brisk "whiss-chuk".

Nesting
They will nest readily in an open fronted nest box, especially if it is placed low down amongst Ivy or other creepers, and are almost always monogamous. Breeding doesn't begin until June, the young are initially spotted and are fed on Caterpillars and Insects. Any caterpillars are first killed to prevent them biting the chicks, and any wasps and bees always have the stings removed first.

Food
Large flies, wasps, bees and butterflies.

Garden Tips
Plant lots of flowers to attract insect life, Buddleia is particularly recommended for this purpose.