Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva


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). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not 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.

Population justification
The European population is estimated at 3,290,000-5,090,000 pairs, which equates to 6,570,000-10,200,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms >95% of the global range. The global population is therefore placed in the band 6,500,000-10,499,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The European population is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015).


This species breeds in forest and woodland, mainly mixed deciduous stands, especially with beech (Fagus), but also in oak (Quercus) forest; also in spruce (Picea) forest in the north of its range. It favours tall trees with much undergrowth, light canopy, and an open zone with perching twigs between canopy and undergrowth layer as well as glades, clearings and areas near water. It also occurs in orchards and vineyards. In central and eastern Europe it nests from mid-May to the end of June. In the former USSR the nominate race nests in late May and June and race albicilla nests from mid-June. The nest is a cup of moss, dry grass stalks and leaves, root fibres and hair, lined with hair and sometimes with lichen woven into the outside. It is normally placed in a hole in a tree or wall, among the side shoots of a trunk, sometimes on a branch close to the trunk, or even in a fork in the branches. Nestboxes are also accepted. Clutches are typically five or six eggs. It feeds mainly on insects and other invertebrates. It is a long-distance migrant with most European birds moving south-east to wintering grounds in Pakistan and India. The migration route and wintering grounds of eastern populations are poorly known (Taylor 2015).


As the species relies on old, diversified forests it is vulnerable to modern forestry practices in Europe, such as shorter rotations and the felling of old trees. As a result it may face a shortage of nesting sites in the future (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997, Taylor 2015).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. Bern Convention Appendix II. EU Birds directive Annex I. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species within Europe.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Although this species is not currently threatened it may benefit from the maintenance of low-intensity forestry practices and the provision of nestboxes in the future.


Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Calvert, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Ficedula parva. Downloaded from on 04/10/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 04/10/2023.