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Ussher's Flycatcher - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Mike Barth
Kakum, Ghana, October 2013
Muscicapa ussheri


13 cm. A flycatcher with long, pointed wings and a slightly forked tail, giving the impression of a martin.

  • Dark brown or blackish-brown upperparts with slightly paler feather margins on forehead and crown
  • Greyish-brown cheek and ear-coverts
  • Darker and glossy upperwing and tail
  • Whitish chin
  • Brownish-black rest of underparts

Sexes similar.
Juveniles similar to adults, but tail and wing feathers narrowly tipped white and underparts with small whitish specks.

Similar species

Darker than Sooty Flycatcher and with unstreaked underparts.


West Africa from Sierra Leone to Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and southern Nigeria.
Rare to common in its range. A record from Senegal seems doubtful.


This is a monotypic species.
Forms a superspecies with Sooty Flycatcher.
Placed in genus Bradornis by Clements.


Lowland forest. Usually seen in clearings and forest edge. Also tall mangroves, farms adjacent to forest and riverine woodland.
Seems to require open areas with tall, dead trees.



Feeds on insects.
Forages in small groups of 3 to 5 birds, has been seen together with Sooty Flycatcher.
Perches on dead branches high on a tree, hawking insects in typical flycatcher manner, returning to the same perch.


Adults seen on neast in October, juveniles mostly from July to August but also in April. No other information.


Presumably a resident species, no movements recorded.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2006. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553064

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