Stenostiridae – Fairy Flycatchers

Fairy Flycatcher Stenostira scita ©Trevor Hardaker Website

Stenostiridae, or the fairy flycatchers, are a family of small passerine birds proposed as a result of recent discoveries in molecular systematics. They are also referred to as stenostirid warblers.They were formerly allotted to two different flycatcher and one warbler family but were re-assigned after DNA sequencing. This new clade is named after the fairy flycatcher, a distinct species placed formerly in the Old World flycatchers. This is united with the ‘sylvioid flycatchers’: the genus Elminia (formerly placed in the Monarchinae) and the closely allied former Old World flycatcher genus Culicicapa, as well as one species formerly believed to be an aberrant fantail.

Other African or Asian species might conceivably fall into this novel clade. The tit-flycatchers (Myioparus) are apparently true flycatchers morphologically somewhat convergent to Stenostira.

The Stenostiridae as a whole are related to penduline tits, titmice and chickadees. All these appear to be closer to the Sylvioidea than to other Passerida.

The list below contains all 9 species generally agreed to be in this group as at December 2016. They are:

Fairy Flycatcher Stenostira scita

Yellow-bellied Fantail Chelidorhynx hypoxantha

Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis
Citrine Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa helianthea

African Blue-Flycatcher Elminia longicauda
White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher Elminia albicauda
Dusky Crested-Flycatcher Elminia nigromitrata
White-bellied Crested-Flycatcher Elminia albiventris
White-tailed Crested-Flycatcher Elminia albonotata

Species Links
  • African Blue-Flycatcher Elminia longicauda

    BirdLife Species Account
  • African Blue-Flycatcher Elminia longicauda

    HBW Species Account
    Taxonomy: Myiagra longicauda Swainson, 1838, Senegal.Forms a superspecies with E. albicauda; the two have been placed in a genus Errannornis, but differences considered insufficient to merit generic separation. Two subspecies recognized.
  • African Blue-Flycatcher Elminia longicauda

    IUCN Species Status
    This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion.
  • African Blue-Flycatcher Elminia longicauda

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • African Blue-Flycatcher Elminia longicauda

    Species Account
    The African blue flycatcher or Blue-crested flyctacher (Elminia longicauda) is a species of bird in the Stenostiridae family from western and central Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Citrine Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa helianthea

    BirdLife Species Account
  • Citrine Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa helianthea

    HBW Species Account
    Taxonomy: Muscicapa helianthea Wallace, 1865, Manado, Sulawesi. Affinities unclear; some DNA studies have suggested that genus belongs with the Australasian robins in family Petroicidae. Birds in Sula Is (off E Sulawesi) provisionally included in nominate race but may represent a previously undescribed race. Five subspecies currently recognized.
  • Citrine Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa helianthea

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • Citrine Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa helianthea

    Species Account
    The citrine canary-flycatcher (Culicicapa helianthea) is a species of bird in the family Stenostiridae. The term citrine refers to its yellowish colouration. It is found in Indonesia and the Philippines. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
  • Dusky Crested-Flycatcher Elminia nigromitrata

    HBW Species Account
    Taxonomy: Terpsiphone nigromitrata Reichenow, 1874, Cameroon River, Cameroon. Has been placed in genus Trochocercus. Forms a superspecies with E. albiventris and E. albonotata; has been considered conspecific with former. Two subspecies recognized.
  • Dusky Crested-flycatcher Elminia nigromitrata

    BirdLife Species Account
  • Dusky Crested-flycatcher Elminia nigromitrata

    IUCN Species Status
    The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be uncommon to frequent (Urban et al. 1997).
  • Dusky Crested-flycatcher Elminia nigromitrata

    Species Account
    The dusky crested flycatcher (Elminia nigromitrata) is a species of bird in the Stenostiridae family. It is found in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
  • Fairy Flycatcher Stenostira scita

    Image
    Photo's
  • Fairy Flycatcher Stenostira scita

    BirdLife Species Account
    This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 240,000 km². The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as 'frequent' in at least parts of its range (Urban et al. 1997)…
  • Fairy Flycatcher Stenostira scita

    HBW Species Account
  • Fairy Flycatcher Stenostira scita

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • Fairy Flycatcher Stenostira scita

    Species Account
    It is an endemic resident breeder in southern Africa in Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia, and a vagrant to Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
  • Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis

    Species Account
    The grey-headed canary-flycatcher sometimes known as the grey-headed flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis) is a species of small flycatcher-like bird found in tropical Asia. It has a square crest, a grey hood and yellow underparts...
  • Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis

    HBW Species Account
    Taxonomy: Platyrhynchus Ceylonensis Swainson, 1820, Sri Lanka. Affinities unclear; some DNA studies have suggested that genus belongs with the Australasian robins in family Petroicidae. Racial identity of birds on Sumbawa and Lembata (Lesser Sundas) uncertain, provisionally included in sejuncta. Five subspecies recognized.
  • Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis

    BirdLife Species Account
  • Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • White-bellied Crested-Flycatcher Elminia albiventris

    BirdLife Species Account
  • White-bellied Crested-Flycatcher Elminia albiventris

    HBW Species Account
    Taxonomy: Trochocercus albiventris Sjöstedt, 1893, Mount Cameroon, Cameroon. Has been placed in genus Trochocercus. Forms a superspecies with E. nigromitrata and E. albonotata; has been considered conspecific with former. Two subspecies recognized.
  • White-bellied Crested-Flycatcher Elminia albiventris

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • White-bellied Crested-Flycatcher Elminia albiventris

    Species Account
    The white-bellied crested flycatcher (Elminia albiventris) is a bird species in the family Stenostiridae; it was formerly placed with the drongos in the Dicruridae.
  • White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher Elminia albicauda

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher Elminia albicauda

    Species Account
    The white-tailed blue flycatcher (Elminia albicauda) is a species of bird in the Stenostiridae family. It is found in Angola, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
  • White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher Elminia albicauda

    HBW Species Account
    Map. images etc
  • White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher Elminia albicauda

    BirdLife Species Account
  • White-tailed Crested-Flycatcher Elminia albonotata

    BirdLife Species Account
  • White-tailed Crested-Flycatcher Elminia albonotata

    HBW Species Account
    Taxonomy: Trochocercus albonotatus Sharpe, 1891, Mount Elgon, Uganda and west Kenya.Has been placed in genus Trochocercus, but recent evidence indicates closer relationship with present genus. Forms a superspecies with E. nigromitrata and E. albiventris. Three subspecies recognized.
  • White-tailed Crested-Flycatcher Elminia albonotata

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • White-tailed Crested-Flycatcher Elminia albonotata

    Species Account
    The white-tailed crested flycatcher (Elminia albonotata) is a species of bird in the flycatcher family Stenostiridae. It has a discontinuous distribution in eastern Africa. There are three subspecies, E. a. albonotata of central Kenya, and Uganda through to south west Tanzania; E. a. subvaerulea, which ranges from southern Kenya to Malawi and E. a. swynnertoni of Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
  • Yellow-bellied Fantail Chelidorhynx hypoxantha

    BirdLife Species Account
  • Yellow-bellied Fantail Chelidorhynx hypoxantha

    HBW Species Account
    Taxonomy: Rhipidura hypoxantha Blyth, 1843, Darjeeling, India.Sometimes segregated in its own genus Chelidorhynx. Monotypic.
  • Yellow-bellied Fantail Chelidorhynx hypoxantha

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • Yellow-bellied Fantail Chelidorhynx hypoxantha

    Species Account
    The yellow-bellied fantail (Chelidorhynx hypoxantha), also known as the yellow-bellied fairy-fantail, is found in the Indian subcontinent, the Himalayas, and portions of Southeast Asia including Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar.
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 9

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