Red-breasted flycatcher

Primeval forest species

Red-breasted flycatcher, photo Jussi Helimäki

The red-breasted flycatcher (Ficedula parva) is a species found in primeval forests. A secretive bird, its song typically echoes in lush, spruce-dominated old forests. The presence of the red-breasted flycatcher is easiest to distinguish by its loud and clear singing, which starts brightly and the lowers in pitch: ‘chichle-chichle-chichle-che-hililililililili-cho-cho-cho-cho.’

The bird itself has modest plumage, but old males have some red in their chests, similar to robins. Red-breasted flycatchers usually hide high up in the trees, sounding their creaking warning calls. They nest in decaying tree trunks, similar to spotted flycatchers.

The red-breasted flycatcher is a rare bird that first settled in Finland in the 20th century. It nests regularly in Mustavuori and the spruce forests of Kaunissaari island in Sipoo.