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L 13.5-15 cm
Found throughout Britain and Ireland but are far more scarce in the north of Scotland and the west coast of Ireland. Their numbers have declined terribly since the sixties. A summer visitor that winters in Africa.
Accidental to Alaska with 1 record.
There are seven subspecies
Breeds in gardens, parks and in forests, often appearing to prefer spots with small glades and openings among tall deciduous trees.
Has an upright posture and usually sits with tail flicking whilst it watches for flying Insects, then quickly flies out to snap it's prey and returns, often to the same tree branch, post or wire fence.
Almost entirely consists of small flying insects.
Nests in recess on tree trunk or building, often against a wall on branch of climbing shrub. Will also readily occupy open-fronted boxes.
The nest is made up of twigs, moss and grass and is then usually lined with hair, wool and feathers. One or two clutches of whitish, or blue-grey eggs, with reddish brown blotches are produced. They are incubated for about 2 weeks, the young being fed by both adults, mainly on small flies. They fledge after a further 2 weeks.
The breeding season runs from May to August.
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