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21

Leaden Flycatcher

(Myiagra rubecula)
Alternate name(s): "Blue Flycatcher", "Frogbird"
Size: 15-16 cm
Weight: 10-15 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Leaden Flycatcher at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "yorki"(?)

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male Leaden Flycatcher; this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 27 November 2014
[Bullawa Creek SCA, 15 km East of Narrabri, NSW, November 2014]

Near-lateral view of a male Leaden Flycatcher; this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 27 November 2014
[Bullawa Creek SCA, 15 km East of Narrabri, NSW, November 2014]

Close-up lateral view of a male Leaden Flycatcher
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, October 2010]

Close-up lateral view of a male Leaden Flycatcher
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Dorsal view of a male Leaden Flycatcher
[Near Narrabri, NSW, November 2014]

Lateral view of a male Leaden Flycatcher issuing its call
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, December 2013]

Male Leaden Flycatcher diving from its perch

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female Leaden Flycatcher (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, February 2013]

Frontal view of a female Leaden Flycatcher (photo courtesy of A. Campbell)
[Mount McEuen, QLD, February 2017]

Frontal view of a female Leaden Flycatcher with a conspicuously brown front

This lateral view of a female shows very clearly a Leaden Flycatcher's "whiskers" (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, February 2013]

Lateral view of a female Leaden Flycatcher showing that females can also erect their little crest
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2014]

The same female Leaden Flycatcher as shown above
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2014]

Female Leaden Flycatcher preening
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2014]

Female Leaden Flycatcher looking for prey (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, February 2013]

Dorsal view of a female Leaden Flycatcher foraging for insects; this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 2 October 2014
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, October 2010]

Dorsal view of a female Leaden Flycatcher with its head turned
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, October 2010]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Based on the pale-edged wing coverts and dull-grey head, this is probably an immature Leaden Flycatcher
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, November 2008]

Race "concinna"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male Leaden Flycatcher (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Darwin, NT, March 2013]

Lateral view of a male Leaden Flycatcher (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Darwin, NT, March 2013]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female Leaden Flycatcher (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Darwin, NT, March 2013]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Oct - Jan Eggs: 2 - 3 Incubation period: 14 - 15 days Fledging age: 15 - 17 days

The breeding season depends on geographic latitude. October to January, as listed above, is the core breeding season for Leaden Flycatchers in the East and South-East of Australia. In the tropical North, Leaden Flycatchers breed preferably from August to February.

Nest building: Female & male Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Bowl Material: Bark strips, webs; lined with root fibres Height above ground: 4 - 20 m

A nest found by us found in November 2014 was characteristically place right under another branch, shielding it from view.

View of the location of a Leaden Flycatcher nest on a minor branch of a eucalypt tree
[Bullawa Creek SCA, 15 km East of Narrabri, NSW, November 2014]

Female Leaden Flycatcher approaching its well-camouflaged nest
[Bullawa Creek SCA, 15 km East of Narrabri, NSW, November 2014]

Female Leaden Flycatcher sitting on its nest, watching the observer
[Bullawa Creek SCA, 15 km East of Narrabri, NSW, November 2014]

Female Leaden Flycatcher here seen sitting on its nest looking the other way
[Bullawa Creek SCA, 15 km East of Narrabri, NSW, November 2014]

Here the same female Leaden Flycatcher as shown above is seen calling while sitting on its nest
[Bullawa Creek SCA, 15 km East of Narrabri, NSW, November 2014]

A nest found by us in October 2014 was located on a knob of a dead minor branch, well inside the crown of a eucalypt tree near an inland creek. It was located under another, thicker branch.

Female Leaden Flycatcher bringing bark strips to its nest, which is located on a small knob of a dead minor branch
[Near Narrabri, NSW, October 2014]

Here the same female Leaden Flycatcher is seen gluing bark strips to its nest, presumably with threads of a spider's web
[Near Narrabri, NSW, October 2014]

After attaching another bark strip, this male Leaden Flycatcher is checking its nest in the making
[Near Narrabri, NSW, October 2014]

In what we would consider a tactical mistake, he then erected his crest and then started marking his territory by singing while on the nest
[Near Narrabri, NSW, October 2014]

Here the completed Leaden Flycatcher nest
[Near Narrabri, NSW, October 2014]

Additional information

A. Morris and S. Grey report that Leaden Flycatchers like to take advantage of the protection offered by nesting under a Noisy Friarbird nest. There is now a separate page about various bird species nesting under the umbrella of a stronger, protective species.

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 18 x 14 mm Colour: Creamy, with a ring of light-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Migratory Elementary unit: Solitary/pair

This female Leaden Flycatcher is the first and only flycatcher (robins etc. included) that we have ever seen holding its prey with a foot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Male Leaden Flycatcher dipping into a waterhole for a bath
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, September 2013]

Food, Diet

Like all other members of the Myiagra family known to us, Leaden Flycatchers are insect hunters (as their name already suggests).

Here a female Leaden Flycatcher proving the point
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

ledflyc_20140110.mp3 yorki?
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
ledflyc_20141127.mp3 yorki?
(NW NSW)
Contact calls © MD
ledflyc_20141112.mp3 yorki?
(NW NSW)
Pair Q&A © MD
ledflyc_20141019.mp3 yorki?
(NW NSW)
Territorial calls(?) (male) © MD
ledflyc_20141002_2.mp3 yorki?
(NW NSW)
Contact call? (female) © MD
ledflyc_20141024.mp3 yorki?
(NW NSW)
Swooping on Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike © MD
Click here for more recordings

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.