Like the Narcissus Flycatcher, the Blue-and-white Flycatcher feeds on flying insects. It comes to the broad-leaved forests of Japan in April. You can see it in gardens or parks during its migration periods in the spring and fall.
The male often sings from the top of a tree on a mountain slope, and it can be spotted at the top of a tall tree even during its spring migration. With more of a warble than the Narcissus Flycatcher, the sound of its song is often compared to the flute, while that of the Narcissus Flycatcher is compared to the piccolo.
Play birds singing
The Blue-and-white Flycatcher and the Narcissus Flycatcher are seen around in parks and gardens from April to the beginning of May as they migrate north from Southeast Asia. By the end of Japan's Golden Week Holiday in early May, they should reach the mountainous region where they breed.
The males start singing during migration. It is difficult, however, to distinguish their song unless you can compare it with the songs of other birds. So listening carefully to the song of Brown-eared Bulbul, which is heard everywhere, is recommended. The whistle-like sound is similar, but the song of the Brown-eared Bulbul does not follow a typical pattern of singing. Its call is simple, even in spring. So if you hear a complicated song, it is likely from something other than a Brown-eared Bulbul.
If the singing is rhythmical and repetitive, it is the Narcissus Flycatcher, but if the song is long and relaxed, it is the Blue-and-white Flycatcher.
It seems that somehow the dull-colored female and the brilliant blue male should be easy to spot, but that is not so. First of all, there is their size. Since the Blue-and-white Flycatcher is only slightly larger than a Tree Sparrow, unless the bird is very close, it just looks like a small bird.
Actually, since the Blue-and-white Flycatcher at the top of the tree is often viewed from the ground, even if you see its white belly or black breast, you will likely not see its shining bright-blue back. Even if part of its back is seen, it looks more like black than blue due to the light conditions or its distance from the observer. It is easier to find it in green spaces, such as a city park, in early spring rather than in a mountain area where tree leaves are thick, but there is a way to enjoy the Blue-and-white Flycatcher in the mountains. As you are climbing the mountain trail, look down into the treetops and see if you can find one.
The feathers of the female are dull, but since she gets to choose her mate, her coloring does not have to be bright, and she does not need to sing. The similar-looking female Narcissus Flycatcher is a little smaller than a Tree Sparrow.
A male Blue-and-white Flycatcher viewed from below. His white belly and black breast stand out but a small blue patch on the top of his head can be seen.
Canon sites where this bird is seen