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Old World Flycatchers: Muscicapidae

Physical Characteristics

Old World flycatchers are divided into two groups, the typical Old World flycatchers, and the African flycatchers. The typical flycatchers are small to medium sized, ranging from 3 to 9 inches (7.6 to 2.3 centimeters) long. Their coloring varies from black and white to browns to vivid blues and reds. Both males and females are colored similarly, though males have brighter colors than females in some species. Because these birds look for food by perching and flying in complex maneuvers to catch flying insects, they have short legs and small feet. They also have bristles on their beaks that help them catch their prey.

African flycatcher species are also small to medium sized. They have short flattened bills with a slightly hooked tip and bristles like the typical flycatchers. Their feet and legs vary according to the species. Their most striking feature is an area of bare skin, usually in white or buff, around the eye that is most visible when they are excited. Males have glossy black and white feathers, and the females are brown and reddish.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsOld World Flycatchers: Muscicapidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Spotted Flycatcher (muscicapa Striata): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, OLD WORLD FLYCATCHERS AND PEOPLE