Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 12,500,000-19,400,000 pairs, which equates to 25,000,000-38,800,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.75% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 33,000,000-52,000,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
In Europe, trends between 1980 and 2013 show that populations have undergone a moderate decline (EBCC 2015).
This species breeds in most well-wooded and forest habitats, so long as suitable cavities for nest-sites are present. It prefers deciduous forests (which contain more natural cavities) over coniferous forest. In Europe, its typical habitat is deciduous and mixed, sunny, open mature woodland, supplemented by orchards, avenues, parks, and even gardens in low-density human settlements. In North Africa it breeds in cedar (Cedrus), oak (Quercus) and aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) woods. On the African non-breeding grounds it occurs at the edges of lowland forest, in gallery forest, savanna woodland, citrus groves, and gardens and cultivated areas with large trees as well as in forest on mountain slopes. Breeding occurs from late April to the end of June in Europe, and to early June in north-west Africa. The nest is a loose cup of dead leaves, plant stems and moss, which is lined with rootlets, fine grasses, hair and (sometimes) feathers. It is sited 1.8-10 m above the ground in a hole in a tree, wall or building. In western Europe it mainly uses nestboxes. Clutches can be from three to ten eggs but usually four to eight. The diet is mostly insects, both flying and non-flying, but it will take other invertebrates and some fruit and seeds. The species is migratory, with all races believed to winter in west Africa (Taylor and Christie 2015).
The species is threatened by climate change causing earlier peaks in invertebrate populations which results in a mismatch with breeding and lack of food for nestlings (Both et al. 2006).
Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. Bern Convention Appendix II. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species.
Conservation Actions Proposed
The provision of nestboxes can assist in significantly increasing population densities (Taylor and Christie 2015).
Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Ashpole, J
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Ficedula hypoleuca. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/09/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/09/2021.