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BTO Blueline
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BTO Blueline
Muscicapa striata
Spotted Flycatcher © G H Higgenbotham

• Population

• Productivity

• Additional

Conservation listings
Europe: SPEC category 3, declining
UK: red (>50% population decline)
UK Biodiversity Action Plan: click here
Long-term trend
UK, England: rapid decline
UK population size
63,700 territories in 2000 (1988–91 Atlas estimate updated using CBC/BBS trend: BiE04, APEP06)
Status summary
Spotted Flycatchers have declined rapidly and consistently since the 1960s according to census data, and the decline is also reflected in the trend revealed by CES. Productivity measures indicate lower clutch and brood sizes and greater nest losses at the egg and chick stages, which raise NRS concern (Leech & Barimore 2008), a drop in numbers of fledglings per breeding attempt, and a decrease overall in the ratio of juveniles to adults. Demographic modelling shows that decreases in the annual survival rates of birds in their first year of life are most likely to have driven the decline (Freeman & Crick 2003). Decreasing survival rates may have been caused by deteriorations in woodland quality, particularly leading to declines in the large flying insects that are food to the flycatcher, or by conditions either on the wintering grounds or along migration routes (Fuller et al. 2005). Since trends have been similar across UK regions and habitats, however, it is more likely that the decline has been driven by factors operating outside the UK. Spotted Flycatchers have declined widely across Europe since 1980 (PECBMS 2009). A predator 'control' experiment has indicated that the abundance of nest predators may be determining the breeding success of Spotted Flycatchers, especially in woodland, where nest success was lower overall than in gardens (Stoate & Szczur 2006). Another study using nest cameras has identified avian predators, especially Jays, as responsible for most nest losses (Stevens et al. 2008).
CBC/BBS UK graph

1967-2007: -87% (confidence interval -91% to -81%)

Population changes in detail

 Demographic trends

Fledglings per breeding attempt graph
Laying date graph
More on demographic trends
Additional information

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This report should be cited as: Baillie, S.R., Marchant, J.H., Leech, D.I., Joys, A.C., Noble, D.G., Barimore, C., Downie, I.S., Grantham, M.J., Risely, K. & Robinson, R.A. (2010). Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2009.
BTO Research Report No. 541. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

Pages maintained by Iain Downie, Mandy T Andrews and Laura Smith: Last updated 18.01.2010