Birds by Name – F
The Fieldfare, Turdus pilaris, is a member of the thrush family Turdidae. It breeds in woodland and scrub in northern Europe and Asia and is strongly migratory.
The Fieldfare is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects and earthworms in summer, and berries in winter.
It is usually between 22 and 27 cm long, and has a plain brown back, white underwings and grey rump and back of the head head. The breast has a reddish tint and both the breast area and flanks are heavily spotted. There is not much difference between the sexes when it comes to colouring.
The Fieldfare is quite a social bird, often seen in large flocks.
Species: T. pilaris
The Red-billed Firefinch, Lagonosticta senegala, is a small passerine bird, an estrildid finch, which grows to about ten centimetres in length.
The adult male has scarlet plumage apart from brown wings. The bill is pink and it has a distinctive yellow eye-ring. Females have brown upperparts and buff underparts, a small red patch in front of both eyes and the bill is pink.
The Red-billed Firefinch eats a variety of small seeds.
The nest is a large grass structure with a side entrance, built low in a bush or wall. The female lays three to six white eggs but may well end up with more chicks as it is the preferred target for the cuckoo-like Village Indigobird.
Species: L. senegala
The Andean Flamingo, Phoenicopterus andinus, is one of the rarest flamingos and its status is listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN. It is native to the wetlands of the high Andes mountain range from southern Peru to north-western Argentina and northern Chile.
The Andean Flamingo is migratory bird, spending the summer in salt lakes and the winter in the wetlands. They are known to travel up to 1,100 kilometres in one day when on the move.
It has a pale pink body, bright upper area, deep pink lower neck, breast, and wing-coverts and is the only flamingo species with yellow legs and three-toed feet. The bill is pale yellow and black.
The Andean Flamingo is a filter-feeder with a wide diet and will eat everything from fish to algae.
Species: P. andinus
European Pied Flycatcher
The European Pied Flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca, is a small passerine bird which breeds throughout most of Europe and western Asia.
It grows to around 13 centimetres in length and the breeding male is mainly black above and white below. It has a white wing patch, white tail sides and a small patch on the forehead.
The bill is quite broad but very short, as with many flycatchers. In addition to hunting on the wing, the Pied Flycatcher will also eat caterpillars and other insects from the ground or on the foliage of oak trees.
The female will lay between four and ten eggs in an open nest built in a hole in a tree.
Species: F. hypoleuca
Northern Black Flycatcher
Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher
The Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsiphone rufiventer, is a medium-sized bird, the adult male growing to around 17 centimetres plus a tail of similar proportions. The female lacks the long tail streamers.
In the adult male, the head is black, the body and wings are chestnut brown and it has a black wingbar. The female is duller and juveniles are plain brown.
Species: T. rufiventer
The Spotted Flycatcher, Muscicapa striata, is a small passerine bird which breeds throughout most of Europe and western Asia.
It is migratory and winters in Africa and parts of south western Asia.
It is a greyish-brown colour on its upperparts and buff-white on the belly. It has a streaked crown and breast, short black bill and short black legs. Juveniles are generally browner than adults and have spots on the upperparts.
The Spotted Flycatcher hunts from an open perch, often low level, such as a branch or fence. It sits and watches and then makes a short sortie to grab passing insects. It will often return to the same perch a number of times.
The Spotted Flycatcher is found in parks, gardens and woodland areas. The female generally lays between four and six eggs.
Species: M. striata