Ashy-breasted Flycatcher Muscicapa randi


Justification of Red List category
This lowland flycatcher qualifies as Vulnerable because its population is believed to be declining rapidly as a result of continuing extensive deforestation throughout its known range.

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
A rapid and on-going population decline is suspected, owing to rapid habitat loss and degradation within the species's range.

Distribution and population

Muscicapa randi is endemic to the Philippines where it is known from Luzon, Negros and Samar. This unusual biogeographic distribution indicates that it could be more widespread than is currently known. Historically, it was considered very rare. This has been confirmed during recent extensive surveys in the Sierra Madre mountains on Luzon and on Negros. However, mist-netting may reveal it to be commoner than field observations indicate.


It inhabits lowland forests, generally below 1,000 m but occasionally up to 1,200 m. It probably frequents the understorey and appears to tolerate some habitat degradation, with records from disturbed forest and a clearing in selectively logged forest. Birds caught in August and September at Dalton Pass, Luzon, suggest that it may undertake intra-island movements, but possibly little more than post-breeding dispersal.


Extensive and continuing lowland deforestation is the main threat. In 1988, it was estimated that as little as 4% of original forest remained on Negros, 24% on Luzon, where forest cover in the Sierra Madre has declined by 83% since the 1930s, and 33% on Samar. On Luzon, most remaining lowland forest is under logging concession and is further threatened by major road-building plans. Illegal logging is common at Angat Dam (Luzon) and slash-and-burn agriculture is devastating the lower slopes of Eastern Cuernos de Negros (Negros) from both of which there are recent records.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in one protected area, the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park. It has also been recorded recently at Eastern Cuernos de Negros, which lies within the Mt Talinis/Twin Lakes area. Although not afforded legal protection, this area has been proposed for conservation funding. Recent environmental awareness campaigns have been conducted there.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Comprehensively re-examine museum specimens of Muscicapa flycatchers from the Philippines to check identification, in order to resolve its anomalous distribution. Conduct surveys using mist-nets, to investigate further its true distribution and population status. Extend the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park to incorporate Mt Los Dos Cuernos. Afford formal protection to additional key sites (e.g. Mt Talinis/Twin Lakes on Negros).


14 cm. Smallish, drab, under-storey flycatcher. Dull grey-brown head and upperparts with paler eye-ring and inconspicuous paler buff greater covert wing-bar and tertial fringes. Whitish chin and belly, rest of underparts ashy-grey, lightly mottled on throat and upper breast. Bright yellow base to lower mandible and gape. Similar spp. A number of superficially similar flycatchers occur sympatrically. The yellow base to bill and largely plain grey underparts, lacking distinct streaking, are diagnostic. Voice Series of short, fast, high-pitched warbled phrases frequently preceded by a quiet wee-tit wee-tit.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Westrip, J., Derhé, M., Gilroy, J.

Hutchinson, R., Poulsen, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Muscicapa randi. Downloaded from on 29/09/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/09/2023.