Chapin’s flycatcher -- 察氏鹟 (Muscicapa lendu)

Chapin's flycatcher
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Chapin’s flycatcher fact file

Chapin’s flycatcher description

GenusMuscicapa (1)

Chapin’s flycatcher is a small, unremarkable bird, with warm olive-brown upperparts, pale grey undeparts and a paler throat. A narrow pale-grey line extends from above the dark eye to the bill (2). The blackish-brown bill has a broad base surrounded by bristles, which help the flycatcher capture flying insects (3). The call of the Chapin’s flycatcher, often difficult to hear, is a thin, soft tsseet, tsseet and a short, buzzy trill (2).

Gobemouche du Lendu.
Length: 12 – 13 cm (2)

Chapin’s flycatcher biology

Like its name suggests, Chapin’s flycatcher feeds on insects. In pairs, or in groups of three or four, it can be found in flocks with other species, searching for food. It keeps primarily to bare or nearly leafless branches in the canopy of the forest (2).

Chapins’ flycatchers are known to breed from March to September, and possibly also in January and February. One nest has been discovered that is believed to belong to this flycatcher; it was a bulky, deep cup made of vegetation and feathers, ten centimetres across and 7.5 centimetres deep. It was situated in a fork of a dead liana hanging against the trunk of small tree (2).


Chapin’s flycatcher range

Chapin’s flycatcher has a fragmented distribution in eastern-central Africa. Two subspecies are recognised; Muscicapa lendu lendu occurs on the Lendu Plateau, north-east Democratic Republic of Congo; Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, south west Uganda; and Kakamega and North Nandi Forests, west Kenya. M. l. itombwensis is found only in the Itombwe Mountains in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (2).


Chapin’s flycatcher habitat

Chapin’s flycatchers inhabit dense montane forest, from 1,470 meters up to 2,150 meters above sea level (2).


Chapin’s flycatcher status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable


Chapin’s flycatcher threats

Although poorly known, Chapin’s flycatcher is believed to be rare throughout its fragmented range, and possibly declining due to the loss of its forest habitat. The Lendu Plataeu has been largely deforested, the Itombwe Forests are threatened by increasing cattle grazing and cultivation, and the Kakamega and North Nandi Forests are also seriously threatened by encroachment, uncontrolled tree-felling and charcoal making (2) (4).


Chapin’s flycatcher conservation

Bwindi Forest is well protected by its inclusion in the Bwinidi-Impenetrable Forest National Park, and part of Kakamega Forest also receives some protection. The remainder of the Chapin’s flycatcher’s range is unprotected. A major conservation programme is required to protect these forests, to ensure the survival of the Chapin’s flycatcher and the many other forest inhabitants (2) (4).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

For further information on Chapin’s flycatcher see:



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A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.


  1. IUCN Red List (September, 2007)
  2. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2006) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol.11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  3. Burnie, D. (2001) Animal. Dorling Kindersley, London.
  4. BirdLife International (October, 2007)

Image credit

Chapin's flycatcher  
Chapin's flycatcher

© Nik Borrow

Nik Borrow


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