• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Ashy Flycatcher - BirdForum Opus

Photo by safariranger
Lower Sabie, Kruger National Park, South Africa, May 2007

Alternative name: Ashy Alseonax

Muscicapa caerulescens


14-16 cm. This is a pale grey or blue-grey flycatcher of forest margins. The black loral line and the short white supraloral streak which joins the narrow white eye-ring are good diagnostic features for this bird.


Sub-Saharan Africa: Guinea to south-eastern Somalia, Angola and eastern South Africa.

Subspecies cinereola
Photo by Morph
Keekorok Lodge, Masai Mara, Kenya. Aug 2007.


There are 6 subspecies:2

  • M. c. nigrorum
  • M. c. brevicauda
  • M. c. cinereola
  • M. c. impavida
  • M. c. vulturna
  • M. c. caerulescens

Placed in genus Fraseria by Clements.


Dry and moist forests (where it prefers forest edge and clearings) and moist savanna.


The diet comprises mainly insects; hawked or taken on the ground. Also seen eating small fruit and small geckos.


Monogamous and territorial. Both sexes build a cup-shaped nest using bark, grass, moss and rootlets (sometimes spiders web); it is placed in a shallow cavity in a tree or rock-face, or at a narrow fork between branches. Two to three cream, finely spotted eggs are laid and incubated for about 14 days. Parasitism by Klaas's Cuckoo has been recorded.


  1. Answers.com. 2008. Animal Encyclopedia: Ashy flycatcher. Downloaded 27 December 2008.
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  3. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  4. Sinclair, I and P Ryan. 2003. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691118154

Recommended Citation

External Links