The breeding male of this small 11?12 cm long flycatcher is mainly brown above and white below, with a grey head and orange throat. The bill is black and has the broad but pointed shape typical of aerial insectivores. The base of the outertail feather is white and the tail is often flicked upwards as they perch looking out for insect prey which are caught on the wing or sometimes from the ground. Non-breeding males, females and juveniles have brown heads and lack the throat collar, but are easily distinguished from other Ficedula flycatchers on size and the wheatear-like tail pattern, with an inverted dark T against the white tail sides.
Habitat and Distribution
They are found mainly deciduous woodlands, especially near water.
As well as taking insects in flight, this species hunts caterpillars amongst the oak foliage, and will take berries.
They build an open nest in a tree hole or similar recess. 4?7 eggs are laid.
Calls and Songs
In winter they are mostly silent but have a typical chip-chip-chr-rrr flycatcher call. In their breeding season, the song consists of melodious whistles, like that of the European pied flycatcher.