Rare Satin Flycatcher Sighted at Chermside Hills Reserve

Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts were thrilled by a rare sighting of the stunning Satin Flycatcher at Chermside Hills Reserve.

On the 24th of April 2024, the bird was observed in the Chermside Hills Reserve, a natural haven that provides lush, serene landscapes within the Brisbane region. Spanning an area of diverse vegetation, the reserve is a hotspot for avian diversity, making it a favourite destination for birdwatchers and nature lovers. With its peaceful walking trails and varied landscapes, the reserve creates the ideal conditions for spotting a wide range of native birds.

A special sighting at the reserve, the Satin Flycatcher (Myiagra cyanoleuca) stands out for its glossy black and deep blue feathers. Males boast a striking appearance with glossy plumage, whilst females exhibit a more subdued brownish-grey colouration. The bird’s buff fringed wing coverts and secondary feathers give it a unique look that distinguishes it from other flycatchers. 

Satin Flycatcher
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Historically, sightings of Satin Flycatchers in Brisbane have been infrequent, making each sighting a special event for birdwatchers. Satin Flycatchers are rarely sighted for several reasons:

Elusive Behavior: Satin Flycatchers are known for their elusive nature. They prefer densely forested habitats where they can easily blend in with their surroundings, making them challenging to spot, even in areas where they may be present.

Habitat Preferences: These birds primarily inhabit forests, woodlands, and wetlands, often in remote or less accessible areas. As a result, their preferred habitats may overlap somewhat with areas frequented by humans, reducing the likelihood of encounters.

Migration Patterns: Satin Flycatchers are migratory birds, moving between different regions in response to seasonal changes. During migration, they may pass through specific areas, including Brisbane, but their presence is temporary and may not coincide with peak birdwatching times.

Population Size: Satin Flycatchers have relatively small populations compared to more common bird species. Their limited numbers further contribute to their rarity and the infrequency of sightings.

Conservation Status: While not currently considered threatened, Satin Flycatchers may face habitat loss and degradation, which could impact their population numbers and distribution. Conservation efforts to protect their habitats could also contribute to their rarity in certain areas.

Chermside Hills Reserve is home to more than just the Satin Flycatcher. It hosts various bird species that contribute to the vibrant ecosystem. Visitors may spot Laughing Kookaburras with their distinctive calls, Rainbow Lorikeets that bring splashes of vibrant colour, and the ubiquitous Noisy Miner, known for its loud chatter. The Torresian Crow, a notable local species, also adds to the natural chorus that birdwatchers enjoy.

Satin Flycatcher
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Beyond these, the reserve provides habitats for various honeyeaters, fairywrens, and butcherbirds, each bringing unique beauty and song to the area.

Here are the bird species that have been sighted at Chermside Hills Reserve:

Bird SpeciesNumber ObservedDetails
Little Pied Cormorant1
Whistling Kite1Flew over
Laughing Kookaburra3
Rainbow Bee-eater3
Rainbow Lorikeet6
Variegated Fairywren2
Noisy Miner7
Blue-faced Honeyeater3
Striated Pardalote7
Black-faced Cuckooshrike5
Golden Whistler3
Rufous Whistler3
Gray Butcherbird1Heard
Pied Butcherbird4
Australian Magpie3
Pied Currawong1
Gray Fantail5
Satin Flycatcher1Buff fringed wing coverts and secondaries. Also heard it call.
Torresian Crow5
Welcome Swallow1
Data from Ebird.Org

Published 2-May-2024