Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Fly-catcher, any bird of the Passerine family Muscicapida?, with 44 genera and 283 species, very abundant in the warmer regions of the Eastern hemisphere and Australia, more sparsely distributed in temperate regions and absent from North and South America. The wings are long, and the feet slender; the bill resembles that of a swallow, and is set with bristles at the corners of the mouth to aid in retaining the insect prey. The type-genus Muscicapa has 12 species from Europe and Africa, and three of them are British summer visitants. The Spotted Fly-catcher, about 5J inches long, is delicate brown above, with some darker spots; the breast is whitish, deepening into yellow on the sides and marked with long brown streaks. It has no song, but a few twittering notes. The Pied Fly-catcher (M. atricapilla), with black and white plumage, is somewhat smaller; M. parva, the Red-breasted Fly-catcher, has been known to occur. As their name denotes, all these birds prey largely upon insects.